OLM RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts
of your faithful;
and kindle in them
the fire of your love.
OUR LADY OF THE MOUNTAIN
Rev. Marcin Michalowski, Administrator
KellyAnn Tell, Confirmation Coordinator/DRE
2 East Springtown Road
Long Valley, NJ 07853
On behalf of Father Marcin, I would like to welcome you to the Confirmation program at Our Lady of the Mountain.
Our Lady of the Mountain’s Confirmation Program combines Scripture, basic Catholic doctrine, Christian service, prayer and liturgy within the parish community setting.
Our program makes every effort to speak as clearly as possible to today’s teens about how they can bring their own talents, capabilities, and gifts to the Church.
The process is a two-year program beginning in 9th grade with Confirmation Preparation I and Confirmation Preparation II in 10th grade. The Rite of Confirmation takes place in the Fall of the Candidate’s junior year of high school.
It is the hope and prayer of this parish community that these Candidates strengthen their relationship with Jesus, recognize the plans and power the Spirit has for them, and become active members of the Church community.
THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION:
Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation which is intimately connected with the sacrament of Baptism. Baptism is seen as a beginning, as a first step in the initiation process, while Confirmation is seen as the affirmation of that same Baptismal commitment. Baptism focuses on the faith of the Church, while Confirmation focuses on the faith of the individual and the role that the newly confirmed will assume in the faith community.
The Rite of Baptism for children states that children who have been baptized as infants must later be formed in their faith....so that they may ultimately accept for themselves the faith into which they have been baptized. Confirmation is the celebration of the process in which a person accepts the gift of faith and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is the finalization of the Rite of Initiation.
AGE FOR CONFIRMATION:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided to leave the decision of age of Confirmation to the Bishop of each Diocese. The Diocese of Paterson recommends that Confirmation be administered in the sophomore or junior year. The date and time of the celebration of Confirmation is set by the Bishop. At OLM, Confirmation is usually administered in the fall of the Candidate’s junior year.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCEPTANCE INTO OLM’S CONFIRMATION PROGRAM:
- Candidates should be registered parish members of OLM.
- Candidates must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation.
- Candidates may enter the Confirmation Program when they begin ninth grade. The Candidate must be at least 14 years of age.
- Candidates must have completed a religious education program, grades 1 through 8. If a Candidate has not completed these grades successfully, they will be asked to participate in a one year make-up program. When they successfully complete this program they will be placed in the first year of Confirmation preparation.
- The Candidate must be willing to participate fully in all phases of the Confirmation Preparation Program over the two-year period and must attend all classes.
ROLE OF THE PARENT:
Parents are expected to assist their teen on their Confirmation journey by:
- attending weekly Mass with their teen;
- participating in meetings designed specifically for parents; and
- providing a supportive and Christian home environment.
ROLE OF THE SPONSOR-CATECHIST (Teacher):
Sponsor-Catechists are active members of the Catholic Church, who are reasonably informed and up to date on current Church teachings. They are strong in their faith and are able to speak freely with others concerning their relationship with Jesus. They are expected to:
- Be responsible for approximately 10-20 Candidates.
- Teach the instructional aspect of the program.
- Develop an understanding of each Candidate as an individual.
- Testify to the progress and readiness of the Candidates for full initiation into the community.
ROLE OF THE SPONSOR:
Candidates are to pick a sponsor in their first year of preparation. A Sponsor is a mature, active, fully initiated member of the Catholic Church (has received Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation). They must be a registered member of a parish and submit proof of such registration. A Sponsor may be the Candidate’s parent, godparent, relative or adult friend. During the two year Confirmation journey, a Sponsor is expected to:
- Support the Candidate by being a friend and companion and praying for them on their Confirmation journey.
- They must also show the Candidate, by example, the way to live a Christian life.
- Stand with the Candidate as they are being confirmed, attesting to their readiness to be an adult member of the Catholic Christian community.
- Minister to the Candidate’s religious and spiritual well-being even after the actual celebration of the Sacrament.
REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
A baptized Catholic who is appropriately prepared according to age and condition has the right to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation when evidence of readiness on the part of the Candidate has been demonstrated. The determination for readiness is the responsibility of the Candidate, Parents, Pastor, and the Confirmation Coordinator.
EVIDENCE OF READINESS TO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION:
- The Candidate must fully participate in all aspects of the Confirmation Preparation Program including, but not limited to: retreats, interviews, service commitments and liturgical celebrations scheduled over the two-year period.
- The Candidate must have a basic understanding of Catholic doctrine.
- The Candidate must have a sense of unity with the Parish community by attending Mass on a regular basis.
- The Candidate must witness for Jesus by living a Christian life. The Candidate’s actions should reflect a loving reverence for God and His laws.
- The Candidate must decide to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation freely, without pressure from parents, peers or the parish.
- The Candidate must realize and acknowledge that acceptance of the Sacrament of Confirmation is only the beginning of a life-long personal commitment to (a) assume fuller responsibility in the parish community and (b) to serve others as Jesus did - physically, spiritually and emotionally.
It is no longer necessary for a Candidate to take a Confirmation name. If a Candidate has a Saint to whom he/she is devoted, they may take that Saint’s name for Confirmation.
CONFIRMATION PREPARATION PROCESS
All Candidates are required to be involved in both the formational and instructional aspects of the Confirmation program.
The formational aspect of the program concentrates on the spiritual formation of the Candidate, including liturgical celebrations, opportunities for service to our parish and community, retreats, prayer experiences and individual interviews. Each one of the following must be fulfilled in order to receive Confirmation.
- Christian Service: Candidates are called to do Christian service. In doing so, the Candidate is both proclaiming and living the command of Jesus to serve the needs of others. This service can take place within the parish and/or local community. A minimum of fifteen (15) hours per year is required. (Please note: OLM offers a scholarship for graduating high school seniors. In order to qualify, 50% of all hours earned must be in service to OLM; service to any other parish community will not be considered as part of this percentage. Additionally, the thirty hours of service accrued for Confirmation are also not considered when reviewing the applications.)
- Mass Participation: All Candidates are expected to attend Mass each week, and are asked to attend the monthly Teen Mass held on the first Sunday of each month, October through March, at 12:15PM. Candidates are asked to sign in at the Gathering Space as they enter the Church.
- Retreats: Candidates will be asked to attend a retreat during their second year of formation.
- Interviews: Candidates will be interviewed after the second year of Confirmation preparation is complete.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation: All Candidates should receive the Sacrament of Penance prior to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. A Penance Service is scheduled during the week before the ceremony and all Candidates are asked to attend. Any Candidate who cannot attend the Penance Service should schedule an appointment with the Pastor before Confirmation.
- Classes meet on Monday nights, from 7:30 until 9:00PM, in the lower level of the Parish Center. Please ALWAYS refer to your schedule for exact dates and times as the schedule fluctuates from month to month. If you are not sure, please go to the website for more information.
- All Candidates are required to come directly into the building for classes. For safety reasons, no loitering is allowed in the parking lot area prior to class.
- No Candidate will be permitted to leave any class event before the scheduled dismissal time without a note from a parent. For safety reasons, all parents are required to come to the Religious Education Office in the Parish Center to pick up their teen. Teens will not be released unless their parent comes to the office.
- The curriculum used is the Chosen, Your Journey Toward Confirmation, distributed by Ascension Press. If you would like to know more about the curriculum, please visit the Ascension website at
The following requirements must be met in order for a Candidate to continue in the Confirmation Program:
- Candidates are asked to attend a retreat during their second year of formation. They may attend OLM’s Confirmation Retreat or another approved retreat. Candidates must check with the Confirmation Coordinator prior to registering for an alternate retreat.
- Candidates must attend all classes. Excessive absences indicate a lack of commitment on the part of the Candidate. Therefore, since there are approximately 15-18 classes per year, Candidates are expected to attend all classes. Any Candidate who misses more than three classes will not proceed to the next level of preparation. There is no makeup work for Confirmation classes.
- Candidates must complete 15 hours of service for each year of preparation. All service hours must be completed in order for a Candidate to move on to the next level of Confirmation Preparation. Candidates have until June 30th of each year to submit their hours to the Religious Education Office. If hours are not submitted by this date, the Candidate will be required to meet with the Pastor to determine his/her readiness to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
- Candidates must pick a sponsor during the first year of preparation. If a Candidate does not pick a sponsor by December 31st, it will be assumed that a parent will act as the Candidate’s sponsor.
A Candidate is required fulfill their weekly Sunday Mass obligation. Candidates are also required to attend the monthly Teen Mass, which is held from October through March at the 12:15PM Mass. Candidates are required to sign in in the Gathering Room upon entering Church.
- Candidates must have the desire to attend classes, special programs and retreats. Catechists are volunteers who give their time and talent freely. They are not expected to and will not deal with discipline problems.
- If the Catechist feels that the behavior of a Candidate is disruptive to the class, the Candidate will be given a verbal warning for the first two offenses. If there is a third event, the Candidate will be sent to the office where he/she will call parents to request pick-up. Candidate and parent must then meet with and Director of Religious Education, and possibly the Pastor, to determine Candidate’s desire to be a part of the Confirmation Program.
INCLEMENT WEATHER: Please do not call the Parish Offices. Notice of class cancellations will be sent in one or more of the following ways:
- via automated phone system;
- via email;
- at all Masses if applicable; and
- on our website’s homepage, via the scrolling message.
Revised June 2017