Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of Baptism, because, as the introduction to the Rite of Confirmation states: "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, "The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop." Each bishop is a successor to the apostles. The essential element in Confirmation is the bishop's anointing of the confirmandi (the person being confirmed) with chrism (an aromatic holy oil) accompanied by the words "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." This seal is a consecration, an indelible mark, representing the Holy Spirit's safeguarding the graces conferred at Baptism.
The seven Gifts of the Spirit give the confirmandi the strength to defend and live the Catholic faith. Two other elements of the sacrament of Confirmation are the bishop's blessing in the laying on of hands and the confirmandi's renewal of baptismal promises. Confirmation is conferred upon the candidates in the fall of ninth grade, following the successful completion of a two year preparation program.
Older teens and adults considering confirmation should contact the Parish office regarding the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program.