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The Confirmation at Arundel

Confirmation 2004

 

The preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation started at the beginning of the school year in September 2003.  We contacted all young people from Year 10 in the parish that we knew of and invited them to come and find out what Confirmation was about.  We also put notices in the Parish Newsletter asking for any other young people aged 15 or over who wanted to be considered for Confirmation to register their interest.

We held the first meeting for the young people (and their parents) in October to give them an opportunity to see what it would mean for them.  At that stage all we asked of them was to express interest in finding out more without any commitment actually to be confirmed.  We then had three meetings before Christmas exploring themes such as what their faith meant to them, what it means to belong (to the Church) and what had been important to them in their ‘journey of faith’.  Each of these early sessions usually included ‘icebreaker’ games to encourage participation and to get the group to gel together. 

One of these sessions included preparation for the feast of Christ The King, which is also National Youth Sunday.  The group were heavily involved in preparing parts of the liturgy for Sunday Mass and it was at this point that we invited them to make their commitment to the rest of the Parish that they would follow the course of preparation for Confirmation.  There were a further six meetings between Christmas and Easter and we also took the group away for a weekend staying at a Dominican convent in the New Forest.  This was a really rewarding time and provided an opportunity for a more in-depth approach to what faith means to us as well as some entertaining events such as a wet and windy walk in the New Forest which needed some agility in jumping flooded streams and negotiating boggy ground.

In the final run up to Confirmation we managed to get most of the group together to attend the Chrism Mass at Arundel Cathedral.  Three members of the group had been asked to serve at this and it was an opportunity for them all to see the oils that would be used at their Confirmation being blessed and to see many of the Diocesan clergy all together at the same time.  The whole evening was rounded off with a visit to Pizza Hut on the way home!

During the course of preparation for Confirmation we invited the young people to consider how they would like to be involved in the Parish in the future.  Some are already involved through serving at Mass and in other ways through their families but we wanted them to explore what was special to them and how they could make use of the gifts they had been given.  They had the example of two of the catechists who were young people who had only been confirmed themselves in the last two years.  We are hopeful that some of this year’s group will feel able to share what the have experienced with next year’s group.

 

Confirmation Catechists

Fr. Kieron

Sylvia Hitchman

Martin Downy

Emily Rainsford

Maisie Saunders

Eleven teenagers from St Richard’s Parish received the sacrament of confirmation at Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 2nd May 2004

 

As part of the Confirmation Program, the candidates were invited to attend a weekend retreat at a small convent in the new forest near Ringwood along with Fr. Kieron and Catechists Sylvia and Martin.

The weekend was focused around the Bible and other parts of Catholicism. It was also an opportunity to get to relax, have fun and get to know each other better. On arrival at the convent we had a little time to settle in to our surroundings before starting our studies. The whole weekend was centered around study and reflection along with fun activities and games.

The nuns also proved to be very good caterers for a group such as ours and the food was excellent. We all agreed that the weekend was very enjoyable and would return anytime.

James Newsam

The group met up again for a Barbeque at the presbytery cooked by Fr. Kieron