Behind the Scenes: Navigating the Confirmation Process

BLOG SERIES: THE BOOK OF RACHEL
EACH MONTH, I WILL BE FEATURING ARTICLES WRITTEN BY MY 16-YEAR-OLD NIECE, RACHEL, WHO WILL BE SHARING HER PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON LIVING AS CATHOLIC TEEN IN TODAY'S WORLD. 

 

confirmation

The author on her Confirmation day with her sponsor (Fun Fact: Her sponsor does all the shipping for Lily & Lamb.)

 

Confirmation. The ginormous, nerve-racking step that bridges a young adult to Catholic adulthood. Scary? No. Confusing? A little. Fulfilling? 100%, yes. I was confirmed in March of 2024, as a 16-year-old junior attending a public high school.

Here is my experience, the good, bad, and in between. 


First, the good: Entering the confirmation process was a step that I knew I wanted to take in my faith. As the earth revolves around the sun, and gravity anchors our world, my faith is my sun and my gravity. Without it, I know that I wouldn’t be who I am. There is an incredible parallel between my faith life before and after this sacrament. While faith was the center of both sides, it is clear that after undergoing the process, I possessed a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the faith, and of myself. 


Second, the bad: With my certainty in my decision to be confirmed, I still had plenty of questions. I wanted to know so much about the faith, and I felt like the people that I was asking were unable to provide me with the right answers to my questions. I felt like the questions they were answering were irrelevant to my life and current society. I had questions regarding abortion, the LGBTQ community, and even superficial topics, such as modest clothing and materialism. The answers I got were basic, typical answers that I could have found online in a How-to-Be-The-Perfect-Catholic Handbook.

There was one day I left a confirmation class feeling frustrated, confused, and with more questions than answers. Rather than blindly continue my confirmation, I turned to adults in the faith and my head pastor to get answers. I had to figure out how I could reflect the faith in my own life and how I could live as a Catholic teen in today's world.

Through plenty of prayer, reflection, and dedication, I discovered the answers to my questions. While I agree with the Church's teachings on many hot-button issues, I also  believe that God has put me here on this earth to share His love with others, not criticize or degrade them. After all, I am a sinner as well, so who am I to throw stones? In the midst of my search for answers I discovered that my place here on earth is to be a light for the church. 


And for that in between, I was left with a bundle of advice for others entering or experiencing the confirmation process. 


For any teens reading this, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In order to truly take this step, you have to be confident and knowledgeable. Ask your questions, find your answers, and be certain that you are ready. Do the little things, like finding the time for small prayer. Know that you are able to ask for guidance from any one in your life. As scary as it was for me to reach out to adults in my life, they provided me with insights and advice that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. Sometimes, you’ll find your answers in the most unexpected places.


And for any parents reading this, be an active part of your child’s confirmation process. My parents were my biggest supporters while I underwent this process, and they held engaging conversations with me. Rather than answering my questions for me, they asked me questions and prompted critical thinking. This allowed me to think out patterns and incorporate the faith into my own values. 

 

Rachel 
About Rachel
Rachel is the niece of Katie Ratliff, founder of Lily & Lamb. Rachel grew up Catholic in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she attended Catholic grade school. This fall, Rachel will  be a senior in high school. She is an avid reader, loves spending time with friends, going to concerts and staying active. What she says about her Catholic faith: "It's been able to grow up with me. The older I get, the deeper my faith and beliefs grow."

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