Welcome to the Confirmation Programme 2021-2022. After 18 long months, so affected by covid and all the restrictions it brought, we are very pleased that we can meet again in person and the team are looking forward to journeying with you during this academic year. We will be meeting monthly between November 2021 and July 2022 over six sessions, along with an additional reconciliation service and half day retreat. We hope and pray that the sessions would provide some food for thought and allow you to spend time deepening your relationship with God.
We hope to make full use of our parish website to help supplement what we will cover in person. Before each session, we will be encouraging you to read the relevant chapter in your confirmation book, as well as watch a video which breaks open the theme.
After each session we will post a “read-listen-watch-do”, based on what we have discussed.
We have stringent sanitisation routines in place. The hall and meeting rooms will be ventilated as much as possible and the centre will be cleaned thoroughly before and after each session, especially touchpoints. Hand sanitiser and wipes will be made readily available for use and we would encourage young people to wear facemasks, as a number of different schools are represented within the cohort. Toilets will be available and handwashing will be encouraged. The hall and meeting rooms will also be fogged with a special antiseptic spray.
The exact date of Confirmation depends on the availability of the local Bishop. As you can appreciate, the diocesan Bishops are still dealing with the backlog of Confirmations cancelled during the lockdowns. The dates for 2022 Confirmation Masses will only be released in January and, whilst we can give our preferences for dates, it is the Bishop’s Office which allocates our dates. Currently, this could be anytime between June and November 2022. We are sorry we cannot give any clearer answer at this stage, but we will keep you informed. Thanks, in advance, for your patience and understanding in this matter.
Parish Sunday Mass Times for the Catholic Parish of Bishop’s Stortford are as follows:
St Joseph’s and the English Martyrs, Bishop’s Stortford – Sat 6pm, Sun 9am, 11am & 6pm
Holy Cross, Much Hadham – Sun 11.30am
Most Holy Redeemer, Sawbridgeworth – Sun 9am
An important part of Confirmation is becoming involved in the life of the Parish and starting to take on adult responsibilities. Some of you may already be involved with these opportunities. If so, do please continue with these. We hope all of you will become involved with one of these ministries and commit to it at least once a month for the year of 2022 (with the exception of holidays). As with many things, what you get out of your faith, how you grow in it, is linked to what you put into it – by involvement in the parish and the wider church.
We will finalise your choice in the weeks that follow. Once we have been able to allocate everyone a responsibility, based on their preferences, we will connect with a “link” adult who is already involved and will be able to meet you to discuss what’s involved. Be assured that you will receive training and support, as needed, for your chosen responsibility. And you will have November and December 2021 to familiarise yourself with the role. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred choice, but please note that there will be times when it is not possible. Please click on this link to read about what’s on offer
In the Bible we read that God gave a new name to a person when they were given a special task to fulfil. For example, when God called Abram away from his tribe and promised to make his descendants into a great nation, he renamed him Abraham. When Jesus gave special authority to Simon, he renamed him Peter. In the Acts of Apostles, we read that Saul was called Paul after his conversion.
When we receive the Holy Spirit at Confirmation we are making a decision to offer our lives to God. The Gifts of the Spirit will help us to do this. To mark this important decision you may take an extra name. You should choose a recognised saint, someone you admire. Start now to learn about their life and pray to them for help and guidance. Choosing a new name is optional, you can use your baptismal name, this reminds us that Confirmation is linked to Baptism.
“In general, candidates for confirmation who choose a special name should pick a saint or blessed who provides a role model for living the Christian life. They should also consider that choosing such a name will place them under the patronage of the saint. Thus in determining a certain saint they may wish to consider a saint who gives them special inspiration or a saint who can intercede for them in a special matter based on their own needs.” (Rev. Msgr. Charles E. Pope is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.)
If you need some inspiration in choosing an appropriate confirmation name for you, this is a good website:
You could also watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgIVcGO2qnY
The task of a Sponsor is to speak up for you on behalf of the Parish, and present you to the Bishop on the day of your Confirmation. They are also expected to be there to help and support you in your journey through life as you mature in your faith.
A Sponsor must be:
● A person over 16, who is a baptised and confirmed member of the Catholic Church
● A practising member of the church community
● Someone who knows you well
The ideal is for one of your Baptismal Godparents to be your Confirmation Sponsor but this is not always possible. Parents do not usually sponsor their children. An older family member, including a brother or sister, could be your Sponsor or you could ask a family friend. It is very important that your Sponsor fulfils the required conditions.