Why do adults ask for Confirmation?
They have been asked to be a sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation. For their own personal growth. Son/daughter is receiving a sacrament. When adults perceive a need, they will actively pursue an answer/outcome.
How do I touch these adults/How do I reach out to them?
Hospitality is key in working with adults. Using PDS, run a list of adults in the parish who haven’t been confirmed- once a year, send each a letter inviting them into the process. Children’s sacramental preparation and parent classes are a key moment in reaching out to parents who possibly have not received confirmation. Word of mouth works best, a personal invitation!
Initial interview is of utmost importance:
But don’t call it an interview; invite them in/out for a ‘conversation’ over coffee. Your findings will dictate a course of action. Adults come with different needs and experiences. Flexibility is your friend.
Which program/process is best?
The one you modify to fit your needs. Many Catholic publishers offer great resources. Which fits your needs best? It’s up to your style or situation. (Every circumstance is different.) If something consistently works for you, keep it! (Don’t just throw it away for something ‘new’.) Parishes that have larger teams have the ability to spread the work out, and volunteers don’t get burned out.
How do you connect adults to the parish? (Do you have a welcoming parish?)
Through hospitality, by inviting parish members to join your team, by shadowing or mentoring, invitation into service- starting small and being well defined in what you ask of them i.e. not just asking them to volunteer for a spaghetti dinner- but for a specific task and short time at the dinner. Ministry tasks need a start and end time, not ‘lifetime’ sentence. Could/does every parishioner invite others in?
Is our job to mass-produce catholics or take them where they are at and put them on a path toward discipleship?
Chris Hanley (716)847-5521 is available to assist you at your parish, at your convenience.
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Elma
We wished to identify those adult individuals who were not confirmed and did not fit into the RCIA. The Parish Data System was helpful in knowing who to invite. Our website will offer a form to make initial contact with those looking for the sacrament and communication can be accomplished over the web and contact can be made through Skype when needed.
What we have learned:
• we did not have a large team in place at the beginning and so it was difficult later to find those who would share the vision of the project. This slowed our progress considerably.
• the area which we planned to use for meetings is not wi-fi accessible and so venues had to be changed.
• new areas on the website rely on the help of the webmaster for an initial set up and this also slows down development of what is needed. Once the initial set up is made monitoring and responding will be in local hands.
We are ready to begin with one or two candidates after working for some months just to get the project off the ground. We are delighted that we have the project in place for future candidates.
For more information email Deborah Keenan or call 716-683-2077
Parishes who offer adult confirmation opportunities:
St. Amelia Parish, Tonawanda
For more information email Brian Ruh or call 716-836-0011
Infant of Prague Parish, Cheektowaga
For more information contact Barbara Wyse at 716-634-3660
St. Gregory the Great Parish, Williamsville
For more information email Eileen Warner or call 716-688-2315
St. John the Baptist Parish, Kenmore
For more information email Sr. Jolene Ellis OSF or call 716-873-1122
St. Joseph University Parish, Buffalo
For more information email Sr. Jeremy Midura CSSF or call 716-833-0298
Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Williamsville
For more information contact Bob Grinewich or call 716-632-2559
St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Cheektowaga
For more information contact Carol Calamita at 716-668-8370