Confirmation: The Holy Spirit Slap

Confirmation: The Holy Spirit Slap

Fall brings for parents the return to school, and for many Catholic parents, a return to further education about the faith.

My son is in the 8th grade this year and, if the Holy Spirit, the parish, and his parents deem it so, he will be confirmed spring 2013. Thus, this next year offers an exciting time of preparation for a life-changing event for my teen son. Last year, when asked what he thought about being confirmed the following year, he worried about three things:

FIRST, whether he would need to memorize something “like I have to do in Latin class.” I guessed that he would need to and that it would be up to his instructor, but I assured him that I doubted it would be anything more difficult than his Latin.

SECOND, if his service assignment would be as extensive as what a neighborhood Eagle Scout had to do or a friend who did a service project for his Bar Mitzvah. I told him his service project would likely be something he would choose and enjoy. What I found most interesting about this question was that he was comparing himself to the rest of the culture: Where does this Catholic Confirmation event fit into my life in this world?

His questions caused me, and my husband, to ask: Where does his Confirmation event fit into our faith lives? Will we, his parents, discover more because our son is asking questions of us this next year? I suspect so.

For guidance, my husband and I plan to use a new book from Franciscan Media, Catholic Update Guide to Confirmation. Also, I plan to offer a newly revised version of the bestseller When a Teen Chooses You to the Confirmation sponsor my son will choose this next year.

The THIRD question was, “Mom, I hear the bishop might slap me in the face when I get confirmed.” I considered saying, “Yes, and it will be a hard slap if you do not memorize well or complete your service project,” but I assured him this practice no longer occurs. “Good,” he said laughing, “I wondered what a slap had to do with the Holy Spirit!”


Featured photo: Rob Pitman/PhotoXpress


About the Author

Barbara Baker works in Marketing in Cincinnati, Ohio.