Send Me the Certificate

Here’s a good one (and it’s a true story).

A DRE friend of mine told me that one of her Confirmandi was ill the day of Confirmation and was unable to attend the celebration. The DRE spoke with the mother of the child on the phone and offered her all of the upcoming opportunities for the child to celebrate the sacrament at neighboring parishes. The mother replied, “Can’t you just send me the certificate?”


What an impoverished understanding of the sacraments! This is just another example of how much work we have to do in terms of catechizing adults.

I like to remind people that, according to Canon Law, each of us has a right to catechesis. When we encounter adult Catholics who have little or no catechesis, rather than blame them, we need to view it as a violation of their rights and we need to do all that we can to see to it that their rights are being protected.

Of course, along with rights comes responsibilities and we need to remind all adult Catholics of their responsibility to seek a full understanding of their faith.

When these rights and responsibilities are embraced, the result is growth in knowledge of the Lord.

About Joe Paprocki 2737 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

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.