Think deeper than a gold cross or Holy Spirit pendant
Receiving the sacrament of confirmation is a profound moment in the life of a Catholic, especially for teenagers who are now embarking on their own faith journey. After a worthy reception of this sacrament, they become “adults” in the eyes of the Church and are given the task of sharing their faith with others.
Unfortunately, we often treat these confirmation candidates like high school graduates, congratulating them for a “job well done” and then quickly thrust them into the world without any help. We expect them to have all the answers and to be prepared to overcome any struggles they may have in the future. For many, this will be the last time they attend a class dedicated to religion and some may never go back to Church again.
This presents a problem, as when they encounter the many crosses of life, they will only have the solutions they received during Confirmation class. They will not grow in their faith and it will largely have to do with the lack of resources we give them. Instead of giving them a life raft to help them when they need it the most, we tell them to jump in the water and swim.
However, we can better equip them and at least give them tools, resources and spiritual assistance they can turn-to when a crisis of faith hits. On the day of Confirmation, don’t just give them a gold cross or Holy Spirit pendant. Give them something that can answer those questions they never asked in Confirmation class or that can buoy-up their faith through added grace.
Here are seven confirmation gift ideas aimed at keeping a teenager’s faith alive after receiving the sacrament:
- Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?: And 199 Other Questions From Catholic Teenagers by Matthew Pinto – This is a great resource, one which is aimed at teenagers and answers questions that they all have and in a language they can understand.
- Blessed Are the Bored in Spirit: A Young Catholic’s Search for Meaningby Mark Hart – Another great book, which is both humorous and hard-hitting, that digs deeper to challenge the hearts of teenagers.
- Pure Faith A Prayer Book for Teensby Jason Evert – A wonderful prayer book that helps teenagers develop a meaningful relationship with God; something that will help them endure the many trials of life.
- 100 Things Every Catholic Teen Should Knowby Mark Hart – Another all-encompassing resource aimed at teens, covering everything a Catholic should know (and more).
- New Catholic Answer Bible: New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) – A Bible that covers numerous topics, such as “Where Did the Bible Come From?,” “Are the Seven Sacraments in the Bible?,” and “Are Catholics Born Again?”
- Offer a Holy Hour Each Month – Newly confirmed are most in need of our prayers and we should let them know that we are praying for them. A holy hour a month in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a great way to fight back any spiritual enemies that are trying to take them down.
- Have a Mass Said for Them Every Year – Last but not least, have a Mass said for the intention of the newly confirmed at least once a year. The weight of a Mass is immeasurable, and while they may not be excited to see that your local pastor is saying Mass for them once a year when they open confirmation presents, they will thank you later when they grow in love and knowledge of the Catholic faith.
In addition to our grace-filled prayers, what we want to give our teens are resources that are addressed to them, in a language they can understand. I know from experience that I wouldn’t be where I were today if someone didn’t give me Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?. I was a lost teenager, but when I wanted to change that, I turned to this book and it changed my life.
So think differently when you are getting ready to give someone a confirmation gift. It could affect them years down the road and help them turn back to God.