Program Philosophy/Program Director’s Manual

RCL Benziger’s Confirmation sacrament preparation program is an extensive and comprehensive program designed to help guide young people as they continue their journey of Christian initiation into the Church. This preparation is rooted in solid sacramental theology; includes the elements of ritual, prayer, Scripture, doctrine, and reflection; and is centered in “the community, which lives, celebrates and bears witness to the faith” (General Directory for Catechesis 68).

Preparation for the sacraments is not only about cognitive learning. It is also very significantly about a period of spiritual preparation. While young people may be somewhat limited in their theological understandings, they bring to their preparation for the sacraments an authentic spirituality. They bring a desire to know Jesus and to follow him. They bring an eagerness to share in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Here are two principles that guide catechesis in preparation for the Sacraments of Christian Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

• Sacraments are always a beginning. Young people will grow in their understanding and experience of the sacraments as their faith deepens.
• Sacraments of Christian Initiation do not signal graduation or completion in any way, but celebrate the beginning of a lifetime lived in the generosity of a gracious God.

This program offers a very different way of preparing candidates to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is built around the encouragement of the General Directory for Catechesis to provide liturgical catechesis which it describes as an “eminent kind” (GDC 71) and a “privileged means” (GDC 207) of catechesis for the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. Every step of the way, the aim of this program will be to help candidates prepare for the actual liturgical celebration of Confirmation.

Liturgical catechesis recognizes the teaching of the bishops nearly 50 years ago at the Second Vatican Council who explained that, in the renewal of our life of prayer and worship, the “aim to be considered before all else” is the “full, conscious and active participation” of all the people in our liturgical celebrations. (See Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 14.) This program is specifically designed to help young people celebrate their Confirmation liturgy more fully, consciously, and actively.

RCL’s Confirmation preparation program will teach the candidates truths and doctrines that are connected to their everyday Christian lives. It will lead them through a process of spiritual formation that will help them grow in readiness and desire for the gift of the Holy Spirit. This program will assist the candidates in being more open and ready for the ways that God wishes to transform their lives through the power of this wonderful Sacrament of Christian Initiation.

Additional support and resources may be found in RCL Benziger’s Confirmation Program Director’s Manual. A table of contents is provided below.

Program Philosophy
Scope and Sequence
Models for Using the Program
Part 1: For the Program Director
Part 2: Prayer and Retreats
Part 3: For the Catechist
Part 4: For the Family and the Sponsor
Part 5: For the Parish Assembly
Part 6: Mystagogy