CNS photo/Courtesy of Michael Alexander, Georgia Bulletin

Confirmation isn’t like graduation

By  Francisco Uy, Youth Speak News
  • May 20, 2016

I recently read an article about how Confirmation is often seen as a milestone, like graduation, rather than a sacred tradition. This led me to think back on my own experience with the sacrament.

My first taste of Confirmation was the day my sister was confirmed. The details I don’t remember, except for the happiness and pride my parents and sister felt.

Fast forward a year later and it was my turn. I already knew what my parents wanted, and when it came to them asking if I wanted to be confirmed as well, the answer was an absolute “yes.”

This “yes,” over time, slowly turned into uncertainty. I thought Confirmation was what I wanted but the more thought I gave it, the more it became obvious that what I wanted was something that others wanted for me.

On occasions I would bring up the topic with my friends. Most said they were going to be confirmed but it was the ones who said no that really got to me. It may have been the confidence in their choice that intrigued me.

Being raised in a Catholic family, it was only natural that I went to a Catholic school. I had no say in it and I had no problem with it but I think because of that it seemed to me that I never really had a chance to steer my life in a particular direction. It seemed that Confirmation was just another step to finishing elementary school.

But as time went on, it became clear it was a decision I was making for myself.

It was in retreat that we were able to talk about Confirmation. Everyone who was to be confirmed was in the same room and we spent the day talking about what we were about to do. At the end of the day, we were given time for silence and self-reflection. To speak to God and be at a moment of peace.

The priest talked to us about becoming an adult in the Catholic community. He said it was time for us to take up responsibilities to love and serve those in our community. God was giving us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to use in serving others.

During the retreat I found a sense of comfort and community that drew me to God and the Church, and that’s when I knew I would follow through with my Confirmation.

Confirmation may have been that guide I needed. It’s comforting knowing I have someone to shine the path for me and something to remind me that maybe life does have value in community.

When comparing Confirmation to something like a graduation, I think it’s important to keep in mind that they are totally different beasts. Graduation is a milestone that leads us to a higher education which leads to a successful future. Confirmation is more sacred in that it bears fruits that transcend what we can comprehend and is much more than just a piece of paper.

(Uy, 18, is a first-year advertising student at OCAD University in Toronto.)

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