Guidelines for Confirmation Preparation

St. Mary’s, Grinnell Iowa

Definition of Confirmation

Definition of Confirmation

Confirmation is a Sacrament of initiation.  It is a deepening of the graces given at baptism and the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.

– it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”

– it unites us more firmly to Christ;

– it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;

– it renders our bond with the Church more perfect

– it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross. CCC 1303

Eligibility and Expectations for Confirmation Candidates at St. Mary, Grinnell

Any baptized young person belonging to St. Mary’s parish in at least the 7th grade, meeting the following criteria, may be enrolled as a Candidate in the preparation program for the Sacrament of Confirmation.


Full Participation in Parish Life and Faith Formation

Candidates are expected to attend Sunday Mass EVERY week and participate actively in the Wednesday evening Faith Formation program.  This is in addition to attending the monthly Confirmation preparation meetings and participating in activities such as retreats, service projects, liturgical roles, youth rallies, etc.

Criteria & Expectations


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.  You must have a sponsor by the meeting on Wednesday, January  31, 2024.  Ideally, one of the baptismal godparents would serve as sponsor, but this is not always possible.  A fellow parishioner of St. Mary’s would be an ideal choice. Any sponsor the Candidate chooses must satisfy these requirements:

  • 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, and is a good role model to the Candidate.
  • parents may NOT be sponsors to their own children.

Sponsors are not required to be present at the Wednesday monthly meetings, but are to work through the Confirmation Journal with the student outside of class time. The sponsor will be required to attend the retreat in the all of 2024 with the student (date TBD).  The sponsor is expected 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.

Baptismal Record

A copy of the Candidate’s Baptismal Record/Certificate must to be on file at St. Mary’s. Please be sure to check with the parish office to see if you have one on file or if you need to obtain one.

Confirmation Preparation Meetings

Candidates are expected to attend and participate in all scheduled Sacrament Prep meeting.  Parents/guardians, and sponsors are invited to attend, as well, but are not required to.

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 Angelina to schedule a make up date.

Confirmation Retreat

The Diocesan guidelines require a Retreat which we will schedule for the Fall of 2024 before receiving the Sacrament.

Confirmation Name

Each candidate shall choose the name of a specific saint for Confirmation.  Information about choosing a saint will be discussed during 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.  There will be multiple service opportunities for the students to participate in throughout the year at the parish.

Parent/Guardian's Role

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.

Date of Confirmation

The Diocese has scheduled the celebration Confirmation for St. Mary’s, to be combined with Pella and Oskaloosa, at Pella on Sunday, November 17, 2024 at 3:00pm.

Important Dates to Remember

Session 1
October 25, 2024

Session 2
November 29, 2024

Session 3
January 31, 2024

Session 4
February 28, 2024

Session 5
March 27, 2024

Fall Retreat

Confirmation in Pella
November 17, 2024