Monday, September 14, 2009

Formation for Parents of Confirmation Class

September 13- The parents of students preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation attended a formation conducted by Fr. Michael. The formation covered two major topics: an understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation within the sacramental economy of the Church, and the understanding the generation gap between parents and their teens.

In the first part of the formation, Fr. Michael debunked the popular belief which often portrays or understands the Sacrament of Confirmation as a Sacrament of Christian maturity. This misconception has often led to the consequent erroneous view of seeing Confirmation as a form of graduation at the end of Catechetical studies. He stressed that Confirmation to be properly understood must always be examined in the light of its essential and intimate link with the Sacrament of Baptism. To put it colloquially, Confirmation is the "more" of Baptism. Confirmation strengthens the graces received at Baptism, i.e. divine adoption, the gift of the Holy spirit, the vocation to mission. Confirmation strengthens the graces of baptism in order that the newly confirmed will give witness to his faith in the world. As one of the suggestions offered to parents, Fr. Michael stressed the need for parents and all Catholics to undertake a paradigm change from one which purely maintains presents structures to one in which the Church is defined by its mission to the world.

In the second half of the session, Fr. Michael explained the 3 major psychological tasks which the teenager/ adolescent experiences as part of his psycho-social development, namely, a search for identity, establishing relationships, and finally, preparing for a life long vocation. He also shared about the different ways both teenagers and their parents deal with stress, sometimes holding them in, at other times acting them out. He proposed that the healthy way of dealing with stress would be to work them through. This entails naming the problem, owning it, recognising one's inability to solve every problem and therefore the need for referral and dependence on others and God.

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