Confirmation Intensive Tonight

This evening is the first of 4 Confirmation “Intensives” planned for our 8th graders. Normally, our sessions are 75 minutes long. The intensives will be 2 hours, giving us a chance to do a variety of things and go into more depth with our young people.

For tonight’s session, we will begin by having a prayer service in which we present the young people with their copies of Confirmed in the Spirit, their confirmation text book.

Then, they will move through four, 20-minute segments, one with each of the four 8th grade catechists. My segment focuses on the symbols of the Holy Spirit that will be prevalent at their Confirmation liturgy: water, oil, fire, and a dove. I plan to focus on how water regenerates, oil heals and strengthens, fire transforms, and a dove soars peacefully, showing how all of these symbols speak to us of the reality of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

I plan to end by showing them a small model of a sail boat that I have, pointing out how such a boat is totally reliant upon the wind – a force that cannot be seen but is a reality. I will work with them to come to the realization that the Holy Spirit, who cannot be seen, is very real, and that Confirmation preparation is an opportunity to learn how to “hoist our sails” and journey with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, reliant upon the Holy Spirit.

This 20-minute segment is short and to-the-point, as are the other segments. Our hope is that the young people will come away with a solid understanding of some of the basic concepts of Confirmation, and will do so in a format that is engaging and fast-moving.

The evening ends back in our “homerooms” with a brief summary of the evening and an opportunity for prayer.

I look forward to letting you know how things go.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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