For youth, completing the confirmation process introduces them to new opportunities to become involved in parish life. Some youth stay close to home and become involved in the formation programs and related activities at the parish.
Parishes that have strong youth ministry programs often times see youth from the confirmation program migrate to youth ministry. A few join in becoming youth leaders and catechist’s aides for the formation programs. Others, like Ramirez, are drafted into new ventures.
This year St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Chino Hills launched the Catechetical Youth Leadership Council. The council serves as a liaison between catechetical and youth ministry coordinators, catechists and the youth involved in the programs.
Ramirez was one of the youth asked to be a part of the Council, an activity that has grown on her in time, she says. Since joining the Council, she has also served as a long-term substitute for first grade catechesis and as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
“I love it,” Ramirez said. “I get to see youth develop and it helps bring me closer to my faith.”
This year, Ramirez was able to serve during the Confirmation Mass as a card reader for Monsignor Thomas Wallace, E.V. She felt a strong connection and was very appreciative in being able to see the youth being confirmed.
“It was the best moment of the entire year,” Ramirez said. “I got to see it from the other side, from a different perspective.”
When Ricardo Villarreal first entered the confirmation program at Corpus Christi Parish in Corona, he was not convinced faith was going to play a large part in his life. Participating in the confirmation program and its activities soon changed his mind.
Villareal credits the confirmation process for bringing him closer to his faith and inspiring him to become active in ministry.
“It opened my eyes to see God has forgiven me,” Villarreal said. “I left wanting to be better and starting a new route.”
Soon after confirmation he joined the Confirmation and Youth Ministry’s core team and began attending and coordinating the youth nights and other events at the parish.
“When people ask me about my faith, I say confirmation is what prepared me,” says Villareal. “I am a lot more open now. I have opened myself to God.”