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 true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. Lumen Gentium 11; cf. OC Introduction 2.

Along with Baptism and the Eucharist, Confirmation is considered one of the three “Sacraments of Initiation.” Confirmation was instituted by Christ in his promise to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21).

That promise found fulfillment at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. The Apostles were transformed by the Holy Spirit, receiving the powers of speaking persuasively, performing miracles, and demonstrating the personal holiness of Christian life (Catholic Bible Dictionary, 159).

The Effects of Confirmation:

Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost (Catechism of the Catholic Church,1302-1303):

  • It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation.
  • It unites us more firmly to Christ.
  • It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us.
  • It renders our bond with the Church more perfect.
  • It gives a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, confess the name of Christ boldly, and never be ashamed of the Cross.

Religious education classes are held every year, beginning in September and ending in April. Confirmation preparation is a two-year program, beginning in the fall of 7th grade and culminating with the Confirmation Liturgy in the spring of the student’s 8th-grade year.

For more information on St. Patrick Church of Merna Confirmation Preparation: Visit the Religious Education Grades 6-8 page or contact Colleen Thomas at

For more information on St. Mary Church in Downs Confirmation Preparation: Contact Jennifer O’Brien at

Adults who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation but are interested in full Communion with the Catholic Church will go through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program. At this time, parishioners of both St. Patrick Church of Merna and St. Mary Church in Downs attend one program provided at St. Pat’s. RCIA begins in the fall and concludes at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday, where the candidates are brought fully into the Church in a beautiful liturgy. For more information on joining the next RCIA class and what the program entails, click here or contact the parish office at (309) 662-7361.