Confirmation is a pretty big deal. It's the 4th sacrament that the average Catholic child receives, and it marks you as an adult in the Catholic church. The first sacrament is Baptism. It happens in the infancy of faith, which is generally in your actual infancy, but occurs later for people converting (obviously). Reconciliation and First Communion (the first time you receive the Eucharist) usually happen in second grade, and then Confirmation is in 8th grade. The reasoning? Confirmation only happens when you are a consenting individual - it is a choice. There were 2 or 3 people in my grade that year that chose not to be confirmed, because they weren't sure if the Catholic faith was for them. I know one has since been confirmed, but I don't think the other two have. Baptism generally happens without choice; you become a Catholic then. But confirmation is something that happens because you choose to it.
Confirmation marks the time when you accept the Holy Spirit to become a soldier for Christ. Basically, it states that you accept Catholicism and all of its beliefs, you choose to live in the Catholic lifestyle, and you choose to treat others as Christians - and inform others of the Catholic faith if they wish to know more.
My job as a sponsor is to help guide my cousin through her faith. We've had discussions on how I live day to day, keeping in my faith (though not shouting it from the rooftops). I'm much more of a service based person - I show faith through helping others, like doing Habitat for Humanity. It's my job to be a good role model for her too (which considering she's a mini-me who plays volleyball instead of an instrument, that's not too hard). I'm really excited about it. She's just chosen her high school (Rosati-Kain), and she's growing up so fast! The public schools in Kirkwood are awful, so private was a given for her. Rosati is where my grandma went, and is literally across the street from the Cathedral. It's like Catholic central in the Central West End lol.
One thing that is strange to me though? She's getting confirmed in her parish church, Ste. Genevieve du Bois. It's weird to me, because one of the big things about getting confirmed in my church was that it was at the New Cathedral (yes, StL has 2). I suppose it makes it less of a spectacle and more of a small, intimate affair, but I learned so much history in preparing for my confirmation. Here's where I was confirmed:
(source)The mosaics make up the largest collection in the world, covering over 83,000 sq feet. it is definitely one of the most awe-inspiring, beautiful buildings in the world. It's open to the public too - even if you're not Catholic, it's definitely worth checking out.
Here's Ste. Gen, which is quite pretty.
In any case, I'm so excited that I get to be Alex's sponsor. I can't wait for this evening. :)