Confirmation Program Overview
We will be using a new program with our Confirmation Candidates. This program is called, Decision Point, by Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic. Matthew Kelly is the author of the books, Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, and, Rediscover Catholicism, provided as gifts from Father Brian to parishioners 2 years ago during Advent and Lenten Season Masses.
Decision Point Program
Decision Point is a Confirmation preparation program primarily designed for Catholics between the ages of twelve and eighteen. It has been designed to ignite a conversation about the genius of Catholicism between candidates and their parents, sponsors, catechists, teachers, peers, and priests. In fact the materials in the program are something that every Catholic should experience - not just teens preparing for Confirmation.
Most young Catholics are disengaged. Engaging them is therefore the first step. Until they are engaged it doesn't matter how much information you download on them; they simply will not absorb it and make it their own. While presenting the Church's teachings faithfully is essential, it is also critically important that they be presented in ways that are engaging, accessible, and relevant.
It is our hope that this program will not only prepare young Catholics for the Sacrament of Confirmation in a dynamic way, but also teach and inspire them to respond and cooperate with God's grace in all the circumstances of their daily lives, long after their Confirmation has passed.
This is an amazing program. At the heart of it are seventy-two short films, which range in length from three to fifteen minutes and feature Matthew Kelly. The entire Decision Point program can be experienced in 4 ways by Confirmation Candidates, Parents and Sponsors:
- Hard copies: A workbook will be provided for each individual Confirmation Candidate. Copies will be distributed at the Program Introduction Meeting to be attend by the parent(s) and guardian(s).
- Online: The entire program is available online to anyone at any time at www.DynamicCatholic.com/Confirmation
- E-mail: The program is also be available in an e-mail version, which will allow individuals to sign up and receive the program in bite-size portions each week. Perfect for parents and sponsors. Go to the link https://dynamiccatholic.com/confirmation/parents-and-sponsors/ to sign up on the first day of your child's class so you experience and engage in the program.
- App: The seventy-two short films and bonus content are also available on an application for smart phones and tablets. Just search for "Decision Point" on your App Store.
The program was received very well in it's first first. We are very excited to be offering the Decision Point Program to our nearly 400 9th and 10th Grade Catholic teens in it's second year. We hope they are also.
Foundational Elements of the Program
I will be delivering the new Confirmation Program to you and your Catholic teen based on three foundational elements.
1 - This program is not just for teens
In my introduction, I mentioned how this Confirmation Program is for you as well as your young adult. As a parent myself, just reading and preparing for the Decision Point Sessions last year made me a better version of myself. "Teaching to Learn" is so easy with these program materials. I want each of the parents to have the opportunity and similar experience to the one I had.
In addition to the materials made available to you on-line, I hope to achieve this by holding two parent meetings and monthly email communications. I have realized that I will only have the teens for 12 sessions; just enough time to plant and sow the seeds in their discipleship. It will be the parents that will continue leading and influencing the Catholic teen as they transition from learning the Catholic faith to living the Catholic faith.
2 - Establish an environment for open dialogue and discussions lead by the young adults
I have noticed though my years of teaching Religious Education (and 22 years of soldiering) that participation in small group discussions is critical in getting young adults engaged in a topic. Teens especially felt more comfortable having open discussions with their peers and not a catechist or parent. I have also recognized that there are always leaders amongst a group of young adults; not afraid to voice their opinion or lead a group in a discussion. It is with these observations that I will be instituting Small Group Leader (SGL) positions in lieu of added additional adult facilitators.
3 - Incorporate the life stories of prior confirmed young adults into the sessions
To supplement and reinforce the Decision Point materials, I will bring in 2 - 4 "ordinary" young Catholic adults that have been confirmed to talk about living their "extraordinary" Catholic life. I will be soliciting these story tellers from parents and grandparents in the ministries and parish community. Their stories will be aligned with the Decision Point Session topics; with only 2 - 4 appearances each term.