Sacraments - Confirmation

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation here at St. Tarcissus and at most parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago is a two year program. Our Confirmation Preparation program has 3 key components; service, spiritual growth, and knowledge. The goal of our program is to help our students mature in faith, make sound choices, and live out a life of Christian service.


It is important for our children to have a basic understanding of the Catholic Faith. We want our students to know how to find the answers to questions about faith. Having confidence in knowing and being able to explain the faith will help them later in life when they are challenged.


“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for” - Cardinal Avery Dulles

A solid faith will help any person overcome the challenges of life. We encourage our students to grow their faith in many ways. We help them work on prayer, we require that they actively participate in Sunday Mass, and we sponsor several retreats during the Confirmation Preparation process.


For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. - James 2:26

Throughout the Gospel Jesus taught his disciples how we should live. He always tells us ”be not afraid” (Faith) then he gives us instructions to go out to the world and share our gifts, talents, and treasure for the good of everyone. He calls us to be of service. We call our students to start to practice Christian service as they prepare to be confirmed.

The Sacrament of Confirmation

Confirmation, a sacrament of initiation, establishes young adults as full-fledged members of the faith. This sacrament is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made strong. During your Baptism, your parents and godparents make promises to renounce Satan and believe in God and the Church on your behalf. At Confirmation, you renew those same promises, this time speaking for yourself.

Confirmation Classes, Paperwork, Projects

Confirmation students will need to do certain work, and turn in certain forms on a timely basis in order to receive the sacrament of confirmation. Your child’s teach will set the due dates for his/her class. There are certain dates which paperwork needs to be turned into the RE office. The teachers will determine when items need to be turned in to them so they can get the items to the Religious Education office.

Religious Education Office

The St. Tarcissus Religious Education office has no full time employees. Most of the work done in the RE office is done by volunteers. The RE office will coordinate the requirements for the sacrament of Confirmation (as to meet Archdiocesan guidelines). The RE office will coordinate several activities during the year for our students. The RE office also coordinates the Confirmation Mass along with other parish groups.

Religion Teachers and Catechists

The teachers and catechists will conduct classes, assign work, and set deadlines for paperwork. Please cooperate with your teachers as they help our students gain knowledge. Teachers are available to help students be prepared for the sacrament of Confirmation.


Parents are the First Teachers of the Faith. It is important that parents play an active role in their children’s preparation.


Students choose a sponsor with the help of their parents. Sponsors are role models of faith. Sponsors must be Catholic, Fully Initiated, at least 16 years of age. Parents cannot be sponsors of their own children. Students and sponsors should have a good relationship. They should talk during the preparation process about progress and maters of faith.

Confirmation Commitment Mass and Sponsor Session

Each fall the parish holds a Commitment Mass and Sponsor Session for the next years Confirmation Class. The sponsor session is facilitated by Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh.


Each year of the confirmation preparation program the students attend a retreat. Our 6th grade retreat is led by Friar Johnpaul Cafiero and our 7th grade retreat is led by Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh. Both days are excellent for the spiritual growth of our students. Both retreats help the students integrate faith and life.

Confirmation Mass

Once students have completed the preparation program they are eligible to be confirmed. The Confirmation takes place at the Confirmation Mass which is scheduled by the Archdiocese. We request to have our Confirmation Mass early in the 8th grade (so we do not mix confirmation with graduation events). The Bishops have the final say on the date and time for our Confirmation Mass.

After Mass Reception

We hold a parish celebration after the Confirmation Mass for the newly confirmed and their families. Usually the Bishop will attend so families can take photos with him.

Confirmation Mass Practice

We do a short practice for the Confirmation Mass a few days prior to the actual Mass. Only candidates for confirmation are required to be at the practice.

Parish Service

Each of our confirmation students are required to be active in parish life, which includes active participation in Sunday liturgy. We ask that our students volunteer in one or more liturgical ministries (i.e. altar serving, reading at mass, greeting, ushering, music at mass, Children’s Liturgy of the Word).

Community Service

Each year of confirmation preparation students have specific community service requirements. There are many ways students can complete the community service hours. Students are encouraged to try several different service projects. The Religious Education – Confirmation Team sponsors different activities throughout the year. Students are welcome to find outside activities that meet the requirements. Students should talk to their teacher if they have any questions about service hours.

Tracking Service Hours

Students are required to track their own service hours. Students are provided service hour record booklets, and service hour tracking cards. Students will need to turn in service hour record books at least twice per year to their teacher, please see the teacher for details. Service hour tracking cards are for the student’s use only.

Confirmation Fees

Often there are fees associated with sacrament preparation. The fees cover things such as books and materials, retreat expenses, and other expenses associated with administering the sacrament. Families may split the fee for confirmation over two years (as the preparation program is a two year program). The first half is due in the fall of 7th grade, and the second half is due in the fall of 8th grade (prior to confirmation).

Confirmation Paperwork

There are several forms that need to be completed at specific times during the confirmation preparation process. A sponsor form needs to be turned in at the Candidate/Sponsor Session in the fall of 7th grade. The Confirmation Data Form is turned in by the spring of the 7th grade. Students will need to turn in service tracking forms at several points of the process. The teacher or catechist will give you (your child) that specific due dates for the different types of paperwork.


We are currently using a program called Decision Point for our Confirmation Preparation Textbook. The textbook has related videos for each section. All the videos are available on-line free of charge. We encourage students to go back and review the videos. We also encourage parents and sponsors to watch the videos and to discuss them with their child or student. Decision Point was designed by Dynamic Catholic. You may view the videos at


Please note that specific due dates will be given to you by your (your child’s) teacher. Please make sure you check the calendar for your child’s confirmation as there are 2 calendars posted one for 6th grade and one for 7th and 8th grade.



Confirmation Dates
2016 Confirmation Class (Year 2 Confirmation Preparation)

10/18/2015 Confirmation Commitment Mass
9:30 am Mass

Confirmation Candidate/ Sponsor Session
10:30 am to 12 Noon / Auditorium
Candidates and Sponsors with Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh
12/01/2015 Confirmation Fee (50% Due on this day*)
The total due for the 2 year preparation program is $100

* Parents may pay the complete $100 Fee at any time
50% ($50) due 12/1/2015
50% ($50) due 10/3/2016
12/11/2015 Service Hour Books Turned in to the RE Office
Teachers need to turn student service record forms to the RE office on this date. Please see what date your child requests the booklets be turned in to his/her teacher.
01/23/2016 Confirmation Candidate Retreat
9 am to 2 pm / St. Tarcissus School Auditorium
With Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh
04/29/2016 Confirmation Data Form Due to the RE office
05/15/2016 Service Hour Books Turned in to the RE Office
Teachers need to turn student service record forms to the RE office on this date. Please see what date your child requests the booklets be turned in to his/her teacher.
10/03/2016 Confirmation Fee (2nd half due) / Student Service Plan Due to Teachers
10/12/2016 Confirmation Practice
4 pm / Church
10/15/2016 Confirmation Mass
11 am
Bishop John R. Manz
Reception after Mass in the Auditorium

Feel free to call with questions or concerns!
Religious Education Office
773-763-8228 or e-mail at