YOUTH CONFIRMATION REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED for the 2017-18 school year. Please see below for our program calendars.
Thanks for checking out our available volunteer opportunities for St. Matthew Youth Ministry (Confirmation, High School's LifeTeen, and Middle School's EDGE). As a parent, please sign up for at least 2 dates for any group in which your child participates. Please contact Youth Ministry Coordinator, Katie Beaubien, for more information.
Comuníquese con la Katie Beaubien, Coordinadora del Ministerio Juvenil, para más información.
While the hope for Youth Ministry at St. Matthew is to bring this vision into a reality, it will take some time to do so. In order for the youth ministry movement to succeed, we must first start with a single focus as the foundation for the youth ministry programming, and become excellent at that one component before expanding to include other elements. As we continue to develop the LifeTeen/Edge programming as the foundation upon which to build up the youth ministry program, we are able to add additional elements. However, we must first do one thing (LifeTeen/Edge) and do it well.
After researching Archdiocesan documents regarding confirmation, the Confirmation program has taken shape as well. Some noted policies from the Archdiocese of Portland include:
Confirmation preparation and reception is intended to take place during the freshman and sophomore years of high school with primary emphasis on the sophomore year. Youth should have the opportunity for preparation and reception of the sacrament by the end of their 16th year of age.
Candidates must have participated in a Confirmation Preparation Program in order to be confirmed. The preparation program should be at least six months in length allowing for some programs to be up to two years in length.
It is recommended that parishes require a candidate be involved in ... Youth Ministry... or other formational experiences outside of and including regular weekend Mass attendance for one year prior to beginning the program.
It is expected that the parish assume responsibility for providing on-going comprehensive youth ministry and other formational experiences and opportunities in addition to and beyond Confirmation.
[I]t is recommended that Confirmation be available on an annual basis.
Confirmation is not intended to be a ‘graduation’ from Catholic education and formation.
Based on these guidelines, Confirmation preparation will be offered each year for all high school students (with emphasis on those in their freshmen and sophomore years) who have been involved in an area of parish ministry or attended Catholic school for one year prior to requesting Confirmation. For example, a student must attend a Catholic school and/or be involved in parish ministries during the whole of his freshmen year in order to receive Confirmation during his sophomore year. This is not saying that the Confirmation program will take two years. On the contrary, the Confirmation preparation program itself will take approximately six months; students will come to a class every other week (two classes per month) and will focus specifically on the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will learn about the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and take a deeper look at the Mass. Confirmation preparation is NOT, nor is it intended to be, an overview of the Catholic faith, a Bible study or a youth group. Candidates and families are encouraged to pray together and learn more about the Catholic faith as a family.
Confirmation completes the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church, along with Baptism and Eucharist. It is not a “graduation,” but rather a commencement—a beginning—of life as a fully initiated Catholic, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within each person as an Advocate and Guide. Teens are invited and encouraged to continue participating in youth ministry activities after receiving Confirmation.
As fitting with the St. Matthew Vision for Youth Ministry while adhering to Archdiocesan Guidelines, this is the vision for the Confirmation program:
The Confirmation program fee of $45 (regular fee) is to help cover the cost of supplies for running the program.
- Confirmation preparation is available to those high school students who have attended Catholic school and/or participated regularly in a parish ministry during the entirety of the previous year.
- Those who are participating in the Confirmation program must attend bimonthly (every other week (usually twice a month) classes for eight months (September - May).
- Candidates will have a Mandatory Retreat (usually the first weekend in December) in preparation for the reception of the Sacrament; a separate retreat fee of $125 will apply. Further information will be provided during the year. *We greatly appreciate if parents can volunteer.
- A copy of the candidate's Baptism Certificate should be turned in at the time of registration. We are not able to receive candidates into the Confirmation program without a copy of the Baptism Certificate.
- Those who are participating in the Confirmation program must be actively involved in a ministry/service program of their choice (either at the parish, school or in the community) during the whole year of their Confirmation preparation (e.g. Choir, altar server, Bible Study, Key Club, St. Vincent de Paul, etc). In addition, they must also attend a Youth Ministry function (e.g. Youth Group, Bible study, retreats, etc.) the equivalent of once a month during the year (minimum of eight times).
- Along with attending all Confirmation classes, students in the Confirmation program are expected to attend Mass each weekend and must particiapte in a Confirmation retreat, as well as fulfill other program requirements (to be stated at the Orientation Meeting in September).
- Parents and sponsors are expected to take an active role in the formation and preparation of the youth, understanding that parents are the primary catechists of their children. Specific requirements and responsibilities of both parents and sponsors will be forthcoming.
In the future, the hope is to add other youth ministry opportunities for teens to choose from, including: A teen Bible study, prayer group, praise & worship, service group, etc. However, those opportunities will take time to develop and will not be available during the 2015-2016 school year.
See Youth Ministry page for more information regarding our Youth Ministry program and online registration.
This vision will take many people to make it work, so all parents of Confirmation students are strongly encouraged to volunteer in some capacity within Youth Ministry. For questions or clarifications, please contact:
Youth Ministry Coordinator
503-648-1998 ext. 258