On May 15, 2005 Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted promulgated the new Policy
and Guidelines concerning the restoration the order of the
Sacraments of Initiation in the Diocese of Phoenix. The chief
concluding reason for Bishop Olmsted’s initiative for this change
was the full sense of the theological term “mystagogy”.
Mystagogy, in the full sense - of aiding our young people’s
understanding of what they have received through the Sacraments of
Initiation, throughout every stage of life which includes the stages
from infancy and continues throughout grade school, high school,
young adulthood to mature adulthood to live as a disciple of
Christ, a life dedicated to the missionary and apostolic service
of Christ. As the General Directory for Catechesis notes,
initiatory catechesis encompasses more than mere instruction in
the faith, “it is an apprenticeship of the entire Christian
life” (GDC #67).
This new policy has
effectively changed the age for Confirmation preparation and
reception from 16 years of age (sophomore or junior in high
school), to the ages of students in the third grade. As a result, the
preparation and reception of the Sacraments of
Initiation throughout the Diocese of Phoenix will be: Baptism:
in Infancy, Reconciliation: Second Grade, Confirmation and First
Eucharist: Third Grade.
Confirmation Guidelines for Sponsors:
- The code of Canon Law asks that the sponsor fulfill the following conditions:
sponsor should be present at the celebration of Confirmation to see
that the candidate acts as a true witness to Christ and fulfills the
obligations of the sacraments. (Canon 892)
- Have the qualifications and intentions of performing the role;
- Have completed the sixteenth year.
- Have received Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation and live in harmony with the Catholic faith;
- Not be found by a canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared.