Restoring the Order of the Sacraments of Initiation and it's Impact on Youth Ministry

In the Archdiocese of Denver, we've begun the process of restoring the order of the sacraments of initiation to their proper theological and historical order (Baptism, Reconciliation in second grade, Confirmation and Eucharist in third grade). As someone who understands the theological and historical significance of restoring the order of the sacraments of initiation I have a deep appreciation for this change, but as someone who works in a parish I'm met with some concern for how this might impact our efforts to engage the children of our parish. My fear is that families will treat confirmation as they have in the past (i.e. Catholic Graduation or a Catholic Bar Mitzvah). Does anyone on this forum have any experience working in a Diocese that has restored the order of the sacraments of initiation and if so how has this change impacted the way you do youth ministry?


  • Hi, we follow the restored order in the Diocese of Maine. I am new the youth ministry position (as of today). I think that there will always be that thought that once the Sacraments are completed one has "graduated" from faith formation. This is a thought we have been battling since....forever. Having said that, I do believe it is starting to change. In our program, the second year parents attend classes with their child. This is a two fold effect... one the parent is following the curriculum to help support the child at home and is also being catechized at the same time. Many of the parents are "coming back" to the church to have their child receive the Sacraments. This is a great opportunity for the catechist as they have a captive audience and can promote the importance of lifelong formation.
    Another thought to assist you with the Youth Ministry component is to establish that connection with younger grades. Making sure the parents and kids see, hear and interact with the youth ministry group so they know the program is there and vibrant. Young kids look up to the older ones and if they see the older kids involved in youth ministry they will want to as well.

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