Guidelines for Confirmation Preparation

St. Mary’s, Grinnell Iowa || 2021-2022

Definition of Confirmation

Confirmation is a Sacrament of initiation. It is a celebration of the active presence of the Holy Spirit and of fuller initiation into the life of the faith community. Our goal through the preparation process candidates will:

  • Have a sense of belonging in our parish and in the larger church;
  • Deepen their personal commitment to Jesus and to the church;
  • Experience an increased openness to the ever-present Spirit;
  • Be involved in Christian witness and service; and
  • Review, clarify and expand their knowledge of Catholic Christianity.
Eligibility and Expectations for Confirmation Candidates at St. Mary, Grinnell

Any baptized young person belonging to St. Mary parish Grinnell in at least the 9th grade is invited to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please be sure to check with the parish office that a Baptismal   record is on file by January 9, 2022.


Candidates are expected to actively participate in their Catholic faith by attending Mass and being involved in the Faith Formation program in addition to attending the five Sunday Confirmation preparation meetings and participating in other activities such as retreats, service projects, liturgical roles, etc.


Each Confirmation Candidate is required to have a sponsor who will participate in the process and present the Candidate to the Bishop at the celebration of Confirmation. A sponsor is also expected to be present at the five second Sunday of the month meetings and to be an active part of the Candidate’s preparation.

Sponsorship is a lifetime commitment to help guide the Candidate in his/her faith through prayer, discussion, and positive examples. The preparation program will provide opportunities for discussion between Candidate and sponsor, but ideally this relationship will continue outside the classes and throughout life

Sponsors should be chosen and attend the January 92022 preparation with the candidate. Ideally, one of the baptismal godparents would serve as sponsor, but this is not always possible. A fellow parishioner of St. Mary is also a good choice. Sponsors need to be:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Be a fully initiated, practicing Catholic who has celebrated the Catholic Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
  • Is in good standing with the Church.
  • Grandparents should not be sponsors to their own grandchildren, and parents may not be sponsors to their own children.


As mentioned above Candidates and their sponsors are expected to attend and participate in all five scheduled Sunday preparation meetings which are currently scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM in the Church Hall (located on the lowest level of the church). We are still working out details in order to coordinate with the Faith Formation program’s Service Sundays. The plan is to join the Service Sunday lunch with that  program at noon. Parents/guardians are invited to attend, as well, and a parent/guardian or other adult is asked to attend as a proxy if the Candidate’s sponsor is unable to be at one of the meetings. If a meeting is missed, there is no way to recapture or “make up” the experience of learning and working  together in community. However, a Candidate who misses a meeting will need to make up the content missed and should contact Jeff and Amy to receive the assignments.


A Rite of Welcome will be celebrated at the 9:00 AM Mass on January 9, 2022. The candidate, their family and sponsor should plan to attend.


The Diocesan guidelines require a Retreat which we will schedule for the Fall of 2022 before receiving the Sacrament.


Each candidate shall choose the name of a specific saint for Confirmation. You will find a guideline to help you with this on page 10 of this booklet. We ask that the candidate choose his/her name by the January 9th class.

Service Hours


Service is the way that we express our commitment to living out Jesus’ way of life. Ministering to people in need within our families, schools, our own community and the world is part of our Baptismal call strengthened by our active participation in the Eucharist. Although we do not require a certain number of hours of service, we do expect the candidates to participate in personal and group service activities. Please use pages 20-24 to help select projects and reflect on your experiences.


The role of a parent/guardian is to encourage, support, pray for/with, and affirm the Candidate’s involvement in the Confirmation process. As mentioned above, parents/guardians are invited to attend the Confirmation preparation meetings, and a parent is asked to attend as a proxy if the Candidate’s sponsor is unable to be at a session.


The Bishop is currently scheduled to celebrate Confirmation here at St. Mary’s, Grinnell on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at a 3:00 PM Mass.


Jeff and Amy Blanchard will be leading you in your preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. If you have any questions please contact Jeff or Amy Blanchard at 236-0871 or You may also contact the Director of Faith Formation, Crystal DeNeve office 236-8838 or cell 319-430-1065 or or Fr. Scott at 236-5289 or



October 10, 2021        10:00 AM-10:55 AM   Invitation to Confirmation (Inquiry)

November 14, 2021    10:00 AM-12:30 PM   Preparation Session I: Personal Faith Relationship

January 9, 2022           9:00 AM                       Mass Rite of Welcome at Mass 

                                          10:00 AM-12:30 PM  Preparation Session II: We’re All Called to Be Saints

February 13, 2022       10:00 AM-12:30 PM  Preparation Session III: This I Believe

March 13, 2022            10:00 AM-12:30 PM   Preparation Session IV: These Gifts are for Me

April 10, 2022               10:00 AM-12:30 PM   Preparation Session V: Your Mission

October 29/30             TBD                           Retreat

November 6, 2022        3:00 PM                    Mass celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation