High School Youth Formation Vision from the Diocese of Madison
In order to raise up mature, intentional disciples in the Church, we must provide ample opportunities for evangelization, conversion, catechesis, and discipleship formation throughout their high school years. There will not be one standard program or event that fits all parishes and young parishioners, namely because "the work of discipleship is inherently individual and customized" (Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples: Rethinking Youth Ministry, James Beckman). While there is not a standard that will suit all needs, we are confident that a parish striving to meet the needs of their teens will engage adult volunteers, focus on creating mall group environments, and encourage participation in larger opportunities emphasizing conversion, community and mission. These efforts will be distinct from and in addition to providing top notch Confirmation preparation.
With this vision in mind, beginning this fall (2018) Confirmation preparation will be separate from faith formation. High school students will be expected to attend Faith Formation sessions on Wednesday evenings. Disciples who are freshmen preparing for the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation will be required to attend faith formation session on Wednesday evenings and Confirmation preparation classes on Sundays, meet with their prayer buddies three times, plus participate in a week-end retreat. The sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated in the fall of the sophomore year of high school. When our teens receive the sacrament, we hope that it is a true initiation into further study and the life of the parish community, as they continue being formed throughout their high school years.