In the sacrament of Confirmation the apostles and the bishops who are their successors hand on to the baptized the special gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ the Lord and poured out upon the apostles at Pentecost, Thus the initiation in the Christian life is completed so that believers are strengthened by power from heaven, made true witnesses of Christ in word and deed, and bound more closely to the Church.

The New Testament shows how the Holy Spirit assisted Christ in fulfilling his messianic mission. On receiving the baptism of john, Jesus saw descending on him and remaining with him.  Christ Later promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them also to bear fearless witness to their faith even before persecutors.

After his Resurrection, Christ promised the coming descent of the Holy Spirit: ” you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8; see Luke 24:29) On the Day of the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down in an extraordinary way on the apostles as they were gathered with Mary the mother of Jesus and the group of disciples. They were so “filled with” the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) that by divine inspiration they began to proclaim “the mighty works of God”.

From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s wish, imparted the gifts of the Spirit to the newly baptized by the laying of hands to complete the grace of baptism. Hence it is that the letter to the Hebrews list among the first elements of Christian instruction the teaching about baptism and the laying on of hands.

The initiation of children into sacramental life is for the most part the responsibility and concern of Christian parents. They are to form and gradually increase a spirit of faith in the children and with the help of catechetical institutions, prepare them for the fruitful reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The role of the parents is expressed by the active participation in the celebrations of the sacraments.

The Candidate

One must be baptized to receive the sacrament of confirmation. In addition, if the baptized person has the use of reason, it is required that they be in a state of grace, properly instructed, and able to renew their baptismal promises.


In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal. Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.

Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life.

The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off “the aroma of Christ.”


The sponsor brings the candidate to receive the sacrament, presents him to the minister for anointing, and will later help the candidate to fulfill their baptismal promises faithfully under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Pastors will see that the sponsor, chosen by the candidate or the family, is spiritually qualified for the office and satisfies these requirements: That they may be mature for the role. That they belong to the Catholic Church and have been initiated in the three sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. That they be not prohibited by law from excising the role of sponsor.



Here at St Catherine’s our Confirmation program runs from September to May for two years.  Classes meet every Sunday at 9:45 AM for one hour before the 11:00 AM mass.


Adult Confirmation classes at St Catherine’s are held together with our RCIA class.  This class runs from October through Easter each year, classes are on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM.