Through the sacrament of Confirmation, we are strengthened to be Jesus’ witnesses to the world. A person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church by the reception of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. In Baptism, the graces conferred are focused inward. In Confirmation, the Catholic receives a special grace whereby faith is deepened and strengthened so that it now can be shared with others.
We receive the Sacrament of Confirmation by an anointing on our forehead, reminiscent of the anointing of athletes for strength in ancient times.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the bishop, the visible head of the local Church, who initiates each person into the whole community. For this reason, Confirmation is often separated from Baptism by a number of years though the two Sacraments are closely related.
In the Diocese of Arlington and at St. Mary’s, we prepare children to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during 8th grade. The preparation process includes all of one’s religious education and formation for many years prior to 8th grade. However, in a more intentional and formal way, we begin the process in September of 8th grade.
We use materials and resources from a program called Decision Point. It is produced by Dynamic Catholic, and it was developed and made available for use in 2014. We believe it offers an exciting, thoughtful, catechetical and challenging program to match the demands of modern culture. We also have available other resources and materials, which our catechists use as well.
We require that children complete this preparation by attending our parish school, our Catechism/CCD sessions, or another approved home school or Catholic school program. Our parish Confirmation preparation process consists of the following:
Catholic adults (those 18 and older) and children in high school (those 18 and under) who are baptized, but have never received the Sacrament of Confirmation, should contact the parish office for assistance.Contact the office
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
St. Mary Catholic Church
310 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
313 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Monday-Friday: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm