FAQs for Confirmation 2020-2021


What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation, completing our Baptism and bringing us ever closer to God through unity with the Body of Christ.  It is a sacrament that can only be received once, forever claiming you as one of Christ’s witnesses (represented with a seal of oil at the liturgy).  It gives you a sense of full belonging within the Church as you share in the “family mission.”  Though often misunderstood as the sacrament of Christian adulthood, Confirmation is not a graduation from religious education, something that we “earn,” or a certificate that lays claim to a mature faith.  As Christians, we constantly learn about and deepen our faith.  No one can earn grace, which is a gift given to us by God simply because of His great love for us, not because of what we have done or not done.  Plus, we have already personally accepted Jesus into our lives, most especially in the Eucharist.  Confirmation, therefore, is about freely receiving and strengthening the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives so we can fully accept the Great Commission that Jesus gave to the apostles, proclaiming the Good News throughout the world and sharing in God’s life and love.  The Church witnesses to our readiness to become anointed missionaries for Christ, and the Church bestows on us her God-given mission of bringing the light of Christ to all the nations.  God has chosen you to be His witness – respond by receiving His Spirit and transforming the world!       

*See The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 1285-1321 for more information. *


Can my teen make his/her Confirmation this year?

In our Diocese of Richmond, your teen can start preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation when they are both at least 15 years of age and enrolled in at least the 10th grade.


Do Confirmation candidates take Religious Education AND Confirmation Prep Classes?

Yes, the diocese asks candidates to take 10th grade Religious Education concurrently with Confirmation preparation sessions.  This is a great opportunity – your teen will grow in understanding and wisdom as well as have many opportunities to experience God.  Luckily, our parish offers multiple options for each; you will need to choose one from Column A and one from Column B.  

*Registration and details can be found at Religious Education 2020-21 Registration Information

You must register both for Confirmation Preparation and Religious Education.


Column A: Religious Education Options (only first semester dates)


Column B: Confirmation Preparation Session Options

Life Nights

(Sunday evenings 

@St. Edward)

ONLY 55 spots

Oct. 4 (Parent/Teen Session)

Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22 Dec. 6, 13, 20




Parent & Teen Session

September 27

All Candidates and Parents


Sunday Life Teen Connect Groups

10 teens per group

Space is limited

Oct. 4 (Parent Session)

Oct. 18, Nov. 1, 15, 22, 29 Dec. 6, 20




Sunday Afternoon Prep 

Group A

in person



October 25 

November 8 **

   Sponsor Session

December 13

January 3 & 31 **

February 21

March 21**

April 18

** means parents attend

12:15pm-1:30 pm


Please note teens registered for Sunday Confirmation and Life Nights will be required to attend both, even if they are on the same day.

Tuesday Life Teen Connect Groups

10 teens per group

Space is limited

Oct. 4 (Parent Session)

Oct. 20, Nov. 3, 17, 24 Dec. 1, 8, 22




Virtual Life Nights

(Sunday evenings 

on zoom)

Oct. 4 (Parent Session)

Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22 Dec. 6, 13, 20



Families of Faith

(family-based virtual program)

The program will aim to be appropriate for children and teens of all ages. Participant families will “meet” every other week, with activities to work on in the “off” weeks.  

Sundays 3pm-4:15pm: October 25 / November 8, 22 / December 6, 20 


Thursdays 6pm-7:15pm: October 22 / November 5, 19 / December 3, 17 

Families will sign up for Sunday afternoons or Thursday nights. 

Student(s) will log on with at least one parent and Evangelization staff will facilitate discussion and sharing between family members.


Tuesday Evening Prep 

Group B

in person

October 27

November 10 **

   Sponsor Session

December 15

January 5 

February 2** & 23

March 23**

April 20

** means parents attend



Catholic School


Attending St. Gertrude, Benedictine, Cristo Rey, or Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot fulfills the religious education requirement.



Tuesday Evening Prep 

Group C

Same dates as Tuesday in person


On Zoom



How do I sign up my teen for their required classes? *

All registration will go live on Thursday, September 3rd at 8:00 pm.

-The confirmation link we be located at the bottom of this page.

-Registration can be found at Religious Education 2020-21 Registration Information


IF YOU DO NOT GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL, you must submit 1 form for religious education AND 1 form for Confirmation.
IF YOU DO GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL, you must submit in 1 form (for Confirmation). 
*CANDIDATES WHO REGISTER FIRST WILL RECEIVE PRIORITY PLACEMENT.  Due to space constraints, each option can only fit 45 teens
As soon as you complete the forms please send a copy of the candidate’s baptismal certificate and the sponsor letter (link below) to the parish office.
The required fees ($100 for Confirmation, $50 for religious education - confidential scholarships are available) should be paid online or mailed to the parish office.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions. 


Other than Religious Education and Confirmation Prep, what are the other REQUIRED meetings?

Please note, registration forms for Confirmation and Religious Education should be submitted BEFORE the Parent & Teen Session!

  1. Confirmation Parent & Teen Session:  Sunday, September 27 from 12:15-1:15 pm on Zoom. Let’s find out more about this sacrament! At least 1 parent is required to attend with the Confirmation candidate.  

  1. Sponsor & Candidate Session: November 8th or 10th depending on your group. All sponsors are asked to join their candidate for this session. They will be given time to learn more about what it means to be a sponsor and to grow in relationship with their candidate. If the sponsor cannot attend, please let us know so they can join in virtually. At least one parent should also attend. 

  2. Parent Sessions: There are three sessions where at least one parent is asked to attend with their teen. These are indicated with bold ** on the schedule.

  3. Confirmation Conversation: traditionally referred to as the “interview”. This is a 10-15min conversation with Andrew in his office, scheduled midway through the preparation process and occurring in March or April 2021.  One parent is asked to attend with each Confirmation candidate. 
  1. Confirmation Retreat:  Date & Location TBD. We have not made concrete plans for a retreat due to current Covid-19 restrictions. We will most likely host a one-day, on-site retreat in the spring. Details will come and virtual options will be offered if needed.
  1. Confirmation Rehearsal & Liturgy:  TBD at St. Edward in the Sanctuary. Confirmation Liturgy dates are assigned to us by the Bishop’s office in the fall.  This year, we expect to be assigned one weeknight between April & June 1.  We ask the diocese not to give us dates during breaks.  Rehearsal will take place within a week prior to your scheduled Confirmation Liturgy.
  1. Confirmation Mystagogy:  Date & Time TBD depending on the scheduled Confirmation Liturgy. Sponsors and Families are invited to attend with their newly confirmed teen. What is mystagogy?  The “interpretation of mystery.”  We reflect on our Confirmation experience and connect it to the Mission of the Church.


Does my teen need to choose a Saint’s name?

No, but you are encouraged to do so! Choosing a saint allows the candidate to adopt a patron who can journey with them throughout their confirmation journey! However, because of Confirmation’s close connection to the sacrament of Baptism, it’s also great to reaffirm your baptismal name.  You can choose another saint’s name or a mystery of the Lord to be pronounced by the bishop instead of the baptismal name.  There is no restriction as to the gender (male or female) of the saint.  The reason you might pick a saint’s name would be because you find their story relatable, or you want to strive to be more like them.  We will talk about how to decide at the Parent & Teen Session!  All candidates will get closer to the Saints.


How does my teen pick a Sponsor?

The practice of sponsors serving as mentors to those preparing to receive the sacraments dates back to the earliest days of the Church.  The sponsor serves as a witness of faith to the young person, and conversely as a witness to the community that the candidate is prepared to receive the sacrament.  It is important that the candidate choose a sponsor who is prepared for this responsibility.

As a minimal expectation, according to Canon law, a sponsor must be at least 16 years old, must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church, and fully initiated (has received Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation).  A godparent is a good choice for a sponsor.  Parents may not sponsor their own children.

In these days of instant wireless communication, sponsors need not necessarily live in the immediate area (though it is very helpful if they do).  They must, though, be in frequent contact with the candidate so that they can share this journey of faith together.  With this understanding of the role of the sponsor, we can see the importance of the candidate choosing their sponsor at the beginning, not the end, of the process. We ask that sponsors be chosen no later than the Sponsor & Candidate Sessions in November. 

Below you will find the Diocesan Sponsor Attestation Form for Confirmation which each Confirmation Sponsor will need to complete. We will talk about this at the Parent & Teen Session!  Please don’t hesitate to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

After each Confirmation preparation session, sponsors and parents will be emailed discussion points. We use a program called Flocknote to communicate with families. Please add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your approved address book to ensure you receive all communications. Candidates and sponsors are asked to meet 1-2 times per month to pray and go through the discussion points by meeting in person, talking on the phone, FaceTime, etc. – whatever works for them!


As a parent/sponsor, how can I help?

We would LOVE to have you join your teen during this important journey in their faith!  Our Confirmation preparation sessions use a large group-small group model, where the whole group is led through activities and talks, and then they process what they’re learning in small groups of 5-9 teens. We need great parents and sponsors to be the small group leaders!  We’ll provide the questions and a short training – all you have to do is be willing to share your Catholic faith & witness with them at each of the Confirmation sessions.


I have so many more questions!

Great!  All questions can be directed to Andrew McCarthy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
or by phone at (804) 864-4715.

Important Links:

Religious Education & Sacramental Prep. 2020-2021 Registration Link

Confirmation Sponsor Form




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