Confirmation Preparation Information

Confirmation Coordinator:  Lisa Harney
Please contact Lisa for any questions and further information at or 781.925.5446.

Welcome to the Confirmation Program at St. Mary’s Parish.  This is a two year program that provides opportunities for the student to experience, share, and deepen their commitment to their faith while building and strengthening their relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  The program is grounded in three primary values – service, worship and faith. When the students give themselves in service, actively participate in worship and prayer, and live faith-filled lives the gifts of the Holy Spirit that will be conferred upon them – wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, courage, reverence, understanding and wonder and awe – will become the foundation on which they will confidently build their future with Christ as their guide.

Preparing for and receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity and we hope that you, the student and parent/guardian, take some time to think, discuss and pray about making the commitment to the program.  We know and understand that life is busy – school, sports, work, taking care of others, etc. – all pull on our time.  We have created this program with as little conflict as possible understanding that busyness.  However, we do ask that student and parent/guardian, when registering for the program, understand that you are making a commitment to the program and to the best of your ability will follow the guidelines below the registration information.

Registration: The Confirmation Program requires a separate registration and fee from the grade 1-8 Religious Education Program. Online registration is available at:

Program Guidelines:

  • There are two years of preparation for the sacrament. Understanding that some students may not have followed a traditional track for faith formation, we identify our groups as Year 1(first year participants) and Year 2 (second year participants) rather than by a grade level.
  • Meetings for each group are held monthly on a Saturday from 11:30am – 5:30pm unless an activity such as a service project requires different times. You will always be informed ahead of time if there is a change to the meeting time.
  • Every meeting ends with attendance at the regular 4:30pm parish Mass to which families are invited as well. If students have participated in a service project that required an earlier start time, they may return home from the service but will be expected to be at Mass.
  • Because students attend only once a month, students are expected to attend all meetings. We understand there can be extenuating circumstances – illness, family emergencies, etc. – so we ask that a parent/guardian notify the coordinator as soon as possible should a student not be able to attend a class.  The coordinator will work with the student and family to find an appropriate make-up activity for the missed session.  If there is more than one missed session, the student, parent/guardian, coordinator and pastor will meet to discuss the situation and determine the appropriate solution which may include repeating the year.
  • In addition to the monthly meeting in November, January, February, March and April, students are required to attend and Opening Mass in October, Reconciliation Service in December, Tennebrae Service on Palm Sunday evening, and a closing Mass the first Sunday in May.
  • Students should bring their lunch to each meeting. Once they arrive on the church property, they will not be able to go to the store nor can they order food delivered to the church.  Snacks will be provided in the afternoon.

Guidelines for Catholic School Students:

Catholic school students have a choice in level of participation in the Confirmation Preparation Program here in the parish. The first option is full participation – attending all events associated with the program following the attendance policies for such participation.  Several years ago we redesigned the program so it is different from the traditional classes found in other programs.   Our program is a once-a-month meeting on a Saturday from 11:30 – 5:30pm (including attendance at the 4:30 Mass).  The learning encompasses the three tenets on which we built this program – service, worship, and faith.   There will be meetings that will be off-site service projects and there will be meetings that are held at the church and will be focused on important catholic teachings, however they will be explored through a variety of mediums such as art or music.  We carefully craft the lessons so that all students can learn in a manner that works best for them.

However, we recognize that by attending a catholic school the student’s education includes religion, often on a daily basis and therefore there is not a need for additional teachings about the faith.  Therefore, a student can opt to attend designated events but not need to make the monthly commitment.  In addition, at the end of Year 2 we will ask for documentation of 20 service hours – 10 for each year of the program.

If the modified program is chosen, the student and family are still encouraged to attend Mass regularly and join us for the 4:30 Mass when possible.  Our Sunday liturgy is the heart of our faith celebration and it is at Mass, gathered around the table of the Lord, that we greet each other as people of faith, hear our faith history in the readings, receive the Body and Blood of Christ and depart fortified to face our lives strengthened by the Eucharist and by one another.  If we want our children to have a personal relationship with God they must not have just book knowledge but experiential learning as well.  And Sunday Mass provides that experience.

Additional Information:

Opportunity to Volunteer: This program is designed to be a “family” program and there will be many times when we will ask for parent/guardian support.  When we go on service projects we often need additional drivers/chaperones.  If a meeting involves art or hands-on activities, we may ask for additional adult helpers.  At the opening Mass we will have volunteer sheets for parents/guardians to sign-up for various support opportunities. At that time you will also be asked to fill out a CORI form as all volunteers must complete a form in order to work with the students.  We are most grateful to those who are able to become part of the Confirmation Prep family.

Mass Attendance: While the 4:30pm Mass is part of each meeting, this is a reminder that Mass attendance every Sunday is a tenet of our faith.  Our Sunday liturgy is a wonderful opportunity to come together with our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances united by faith to celebrate the unconditional love of our God.  For one hour each week we listen to our faith history in the readings, we receive the Body and Blood of our Savior, and are sent away renewed and strengthened to face another week – knowing we have God beside and within us.  While Mass attendance may be a requirement of our religion, it is also an invitation to be part of a community of believers whose friendship offers acceptance, understanding, comfort, hope, and joy.

Catholic School Students: Students who attend catholic schools are part of the Confirmation Program and must register for the program.  However, because they have religion every day at school they do not have to attend the monthly meetings but they must attend the opening and closing Masses, the Reconciliation Service in December and the Tennebrae Service on Palm Sunday.  They must also submit documentation of at least 10 service hours completed each of the two years. If they choose to attend the full program, they must attend all monthly meetings and will follow the same attendance policy.

Rite of Confirmation: Is celebrated in late September or October of the third year.  Prior to the celebration, there is a retreat that all students who have completed the two year program need to attend (this includes catholic school students who have met their requirements listed above).

Registration: The Confirmation Program requires a separate registration and fee from the grade 1-8 Religious Education Program. Online registration is available at:


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