Restored Order

What is it and why are we doing it

During our diocesan synod of 2017, a proposal was made to restore the original order of the sacraments of initiation. The reasons, merits, and concerns related to this proposal were debated among the hundreds of synod participants, representing each of our parishes and deaneries. After thoughtful debate and discussion, the synod participants voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposal. 

As this change has been introduced in parishes and schools, the same concerns and questions debated in the synod have been raised by pastors, educators, and parents and family members of children preparing for the sacraments of initiation.

Common questions and concerns include examples such as:

- Kids in grade three are not adult enough to confirm their own faith

- Won’t we lose all our kids after third grade, since they’ll effectively finish religious ed?

- Won’t our enrollment in Catholic schools suffer if there’s no sacramental prep after third grade?

- Why would we change the way we’ve always done the sacraments of initiation?

- Why would we lose the high-impact experience of an eighth-grader’s right of passage and affirmation of their faith?

These questions and concerns truly get to the heart of the issue, and they reinforce the urgent need to restore the proper sequence of the sacraments of initiation.  This site is intended to address these and other concerns and to provide context for this important change. We welcome constructive ideas, thoughts, and questions that can help us all successfully embrace this change.

The Need for Change

The urgent need for restoring the order of the sacraments of initiation stems from three related concerns, which can be summarized as follows:

Urgent Pastoral Concern for our Kids

Facts show almost 80% of fallen away Catholics did not receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the average age of falling away is 13. Meanwhile, social and psychological research shows our kids need the grace of Confirmation at a much younger age and are more prone to obstacles to receiving the grace of Confirmation by the time they reach their teenage years.  In the face of these facts, we are putting our kids in grave risk by delaying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

Historical Deviation in Practice

The current sequence of the sacraments of initiation is, by Church standards, a recent phenomenon that drifted from more than 1,800 years of consistent practice.  Our current approach (before the restored order) has been specifically questioned by several Popes as conflicting with official Church teaching, as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Code of Canon Law, the Rite of Baptism of Children, and the Order of Confirmation, and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Proper Theological Grounding

Related to both of the above, a proper theological understanding of the sacrament of Confirmation reaffirms the proper sequence of the sacraments of initiation (baptism, Confirmation, eucharist), and reinforces the notion that we should fully initiate our children as soon as possible, after the age of reason.

Join the Discussion

We know that there are many questions regarding returning to the restored order of the Sacraments of Initiation. We welcome any insights, suggestions, or concerns you may have.