Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Requesting Faculties to Confirm

The Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation. Therefore, priests are required, in certain situations, to request faculties to be the minister of Confirmation in place of the Bishop.

If the people who are to be confirmed are already baptized Catholics and , then the priest will need to request faculties from the Bishop in order to confirm them. To do this, he simply sends the Bishop a letter making the request, indicating the names of the persons to be confirmed, the date and place the Confirmation will occur, and citing the pastoral reason for which permission is requested. You may send the request directly to the Bishop’s office: 900 Lafayette Street, Suite 301, Santa Clara, CA 95050.

Note: By law, faculties are already provided to priests to confirm catechumens (those unbaptized) at the time of their baptism or candidates for full communion (those baptized into another Christian tradition) at the time of their reception into the Catholic Church, or those in danger of death. Priests are required to request the faculty to administer the sacrament of Confirmation only when confirming an already-baptized Catholic (cf. Canon 883).

Here is a sample letter requesting faculties to confirm:

Dear Bishop McGrath:

I am requesting permission to confirm the following persons at the ____ Mass on Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2006, here at St. _______ Parish. They were all baptized as infants but were never catechized nor previously admitted to Confirmation.

[list names]

All have participated fully in our parish's preparation process, and we believe they are ready to celebrate Confirmation.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

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