Today, our seventeen year old son Eric will begin a new phase of his faith life as he receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Every day of my life, I am proud of my sons.  Today will be no exception as I watch Eric go forward to fully bind himself to our Church and become an adult witness of our Catholic faith.

I think I’ve shared here before that my own Confirmation came at a time in my life when I could not fully appreciate the sanctity and importance of the Sacrament.  As an eighth grader, I was far more concerned with how my hair looked than with the seriousness of the step I took that day.

Eric, on the other hand, is fully prepared for his Sacrament.  I give a great deal of credit to his religion teachers and also to Sharon, our wonderful Youth minister, all of whom have walked this path with Eric.  His Confirmation sponsor was his Freshman year religion teacher, a wonderful young woman whose vibrant faith has had a tremendous impact upon my son.

It’s interesting that this year, as he has transitioned into a public school setting, Eric has been called upon to defend and witness to his faith more than ever before in his life.  I watch him make moral choices that reflect the depth of his character.  I observe him answer his classmates’ criticism of organized religion as archaic.  I see his heart for community service and the profound nature of his compassion for others.  I know he is ready to take this step.

For many, Confirmation ends the period when we receive faith formation in our lives - since it’s no longer "required", many of us set studying and learning about our faith aside.  I know that Eric will face periods of trial and doubt in the years ahead, and that he will have to face continual challenges to his faith.  I hope that I will have the grace, as a mom, to accept these moments and to continue to be a prayer companion to my son in his life.

I’d ask your prayers for Eric, and for all of those who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend.  For those of you with children who have been confirmed, I would love to hear your insights and experiences on this sacrament.  It seems just yesterday that Greg and I asked for the Sacrament of Baptism for our baby Eric!