To the Editor:
The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is indeed an issue that needs review. I agree with Bishop Tobin’s assertion that the reasonable age for confirmation is in or around seventh or eighth grade and for the same reasons. The pre-adolescent years are a time of questioning and great growth, both physical and intellectual; and reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit will provide these children with guidance and strength to manage the issues they will no doubt encounter as they mature.
In addition, an assessment of the requirements for confirmation across the diocese needs to be performed. Although the requirements of education, retreat and community service are put forth by the Canon law and issued by the diocese, the interpretation of these requirements differ from parish to parish. Are parishes making it too demanding to receive the sacrament?
Has the Sacrament of Confirmation become a reward? Are the requirements at some parishes so daunting that the marginal Catholics do not even consider the programs?
There can be no downside to the reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.