Big Brother received the Sacrament of Confirmation this afternoon. We were graced by the presence of a Monsignor who was proud to return to his hometown to confirm this group of students. Little Brother was intrigued by the colorful attire of the Knights of Columbus, complete with swords and capes. Unfortunately, between the antics of a preschooler a few pews ahead of us who was screaming and hitting his grandmother, and a sound system that poorly amplified Monsignor's homily, and Little Brother requiring two trips to the restroom which meant climbing over three adults each time, I missed a good deal of it.
There's lots of talk about what the best age is for Confirmation. Some schools of thought would schedule the sacrament before First Communion; others reserve it for high-school students. But there's a lot to recommend the second half of the eighth-grade year. Soon Big Brother will leave the relative safety and comfort of a small school (200 students in grades K-8) and move on to a high school with 200 students in his grade alone. He'll be a little fish in a big pond. And when he gets to that big pond he will find a world that is full of new experiences and temptations and possibilities and dangers.
I pray that the grace of the sacrament he received today will go a long way toward helping him get through the challenges he will face as a Catholic teenager in today's world.