You Shall be my Witnesses - Parish based preparation for Confirmation Programme

This programme, designed to be a resource that encourages, challenges and invites parents and guardians and the wider parish community to become more actively involved in the preparation for Confirmation, is promoted by the Archdiocese of Dublin.  It is used in many parishes and started in Howth with the Confirmation class of 2010.

This Parish based programme complements and supports the valuable work of the teachers and the school. Volunteers, both Parishioners and parents are involved in organizing and delivering the programme with the excellent support of Scoil Mhuire. Children who do not attend Scoil Mhuire are also welcome to participate

You Shall Be My Witnesses explores what it means to belong to the Christian family, what we believe, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and how we can witness to the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Enrolment ceremony; this marks the beginning of the programme and takes place at Sunday mass some months before Confirmation day and is an opportunity for young people, parents and guardians to express their commitment to their preparation and for the parish community to pledge their support for them as they learn more about the faith into which they will be confirmed.

Five Sessions, the first four with the “B” themes, Belonging, Believing, Becoming, and Beginning again take place before Confirmation and a fifth session takes place after the celebration is over. The fifth session reinforces the idea that we are not simply preparing for a one day event but that confirmation is the beginning of a new journey as a full members of the Church.

Parents and Guardians; each young person has a confirmation journal which they use in the group session and at home with their parents. A weekly newsletter is given to parents so that they are linked into the content of each session, thereby supporting parents in their role as “first teachers of their child in the ways of faith”. Parents are also invited and encouraged to join with their child by attending a short prayer service which takes place at the end of each session.

Celebration Mass;  this takes place after the final session and is an opportunity for the parishioners to welcome the young people who are now full members of the church and to promise them their support as they unpack the gifts and fruits of Confirmation.

First Year Programme; the team is working on the development of a follow up programme for First Years similar to You shall be my Witnesses.  It is envisaged that this will commence in autumn 2011

For more information on these programmes contact

Valerie Darby or Kay Burke, coordinators You Shall be my Witnesses at 8397398       


Confirmation Reflection

The following reflection and introduction to it were read at the special family
Mass for confirmation students in Howth on Sunday 26th Feb 2012. Maria is a 6th
class pupil at Scoil Mhuire and Christina is her Mum

No Pit so Deep

Introduction to reflection

Corrie ten Boom was a girl who lived with her family in Holland during World War 2. Her family fixed
clocks and helped the Jews. Some neighbours told the Germans that they were hiding some Jews and
they were put in a prisoner of war camp. Everyone in Corrie’s family died except herself and including
her sister Betsie. Later when she met the Nazi prison guard she was full of hate but she asked God to
give her strength to forgive him. She spent the rest of her life giving talks on forgiveness. This is a poem
my mum wrote on Corrie ten Boom.

By Christina Molloy

Said Corrie ten Boom when she was at the end.
Just lost her sister -her very best friend-
and yet held to the truth until the bitter end.
Saying to her Nazi guard, 'I forgive you brother'
Even though she hated his sins, that only God could cover.
And cover them He did, for He is faithful and true,
He forgives All who turn to Him, no matter what we do.
By forgiving her persecutor, she restored his faith.
Despite his hideous crimes and past,
To peace with his Maker make.
So, let’s remember Corrie,
When our cup is not overflowing,
It’s only by giving, and forgiving - again -
That our own love keeps on growing..

Now, what does ”he went up” mean? It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the
earth. (Ephesians 4.9)