March 18, 2013

There may be some rationale for confirming non-practising Catholics but I cannot figure out what it is and why we do this. Year after year, we confirm thousands of children who obviously are not practising the Catholic faith and, presumably, come from families where it is not being practised.

We have allowed them to be baptized and to make their First Communions and now we invite them to confirm their faith. Why? What faith?

We are not doing them any favour. When they are adults and decide to practise their faith or wish to be married in the Catholic Church, then we can discuss Confirmation.

Adults who have been baptized as infants can attend RCIA to prepare for Confirmation. Then they should receive a good update in their faith and know what they are asking of the Church.

As a Eucharistic Minister, I see children regularly receive Communion, usually with a school group or at a pre-Confirmation Mass, who have no idea of how to participate in the Mass or how to receive the Eucharist. Unfortunately, this can be said of many of the accompanying teachers as well.

I have stood with first communicants before Mass and realized they do not even know how to make the sign of the cross. This is something practising mothers teach from babyhood.

Many people find this acceptable. I do not. We are doing the children a great disservice.

At Baptism, parents were asked to promise to raise their children in the faith, following the tenets of the Catholic Church, which include attending Sunday liturgy.

We see in preparing the children for First Communion that the parents and godparents have not lived up to those promises but we go ahead anyways, not addressing the problem. And so it continues.

Bertha McLaughlin
Sherwood Park