Religion changed me, religion strengthened me, and religion has shaped my life. As a young Catholic in the first grade, my parents enrolled me in a Wednesday night religious class. I always referred to religious school as C.C.D. -Confraternity of Christ Doctrine. Once a week I went to my local church to learn about my Catholic faith. For the first few years I enjoyed going to CCD -but that feeling didn’t last long. CCD was repetitive. It was obligatory. I was a young Catholic and my parents did the same in their childhood. Religious ed was necessary as it was essential until I completed the sacrament of confirmation. Often I would groan on Wednesday nights, “Mom, do I have to attend class?” “Yes,” Mother replied swiftly. “Because it’s important for your faith. You’ll understand someday.” I thought Confirmation day would never come, but it came faster than a rocket blasting off. In order to graduate from CCD, I had to become an adult of the church first which requires study and the completion of a few sacraments. Confirmation was the last step to completion and that sounded great to me. Complete the sacrament, become an official adult of the church, and finish CCD. I honestly wanted to become confirmed because it seemed beneficial. Confirmation could shape me spiritually, strengthen my morals, and guide me in the right direction in life. My only pet peeve was that I couldn’t become confirmed until 8th grade, which was four years away. Too many years if you ask me. I continued my religious education while still being bored and tired of it. While I crept towards 8th grade, my religious program became more intense and challenging. More work had to be done, service hours had to be completed, and I had to participate in extra activities. Religious ed got to a point where I wanted to officially quit and never attend class again. “Mom, can I quit? This is just too much for me,” I complained. “Chris, you only have a couple more years of work. Do you really want to throw away six years of class now?” My mother was right. I didn’t want to throw away six years of work and the disappointment from my family if I did. The only option I had was to continue the program. At times, I was still tempted to quit, but I just couldn’t. I thought about the end result and kept working hard. Then, confirmation day approached. Before the final step of confirmation happened, I had to pass an essential interview. I didn’t sweat it though as I looked over my notes and felt extremely confident. The Tuesday night of my interview I walked in my church’s basement, answered a few questions, and walked out with flying colors. I was ready to become an adult of the Catholic church. My mind was mature. The last and final step was to participate in a confirmation mass, where a Bishop would confirm me. My parents and I went suit shopping to prepare and we invited my family to the church ceremony. I could only be confirmed once, so this event was not taken lightly. The big day came and I was dressed up in a black suit with a fancy tie. I was at church with most of my family and fellow classmates. We all joined together for a mass, said a few gospels, and then the confirmation anoint- ing process began. The bench of classmates in front of me cleared, which was my cue to rise. Excitement filled my body as I crept up the church aisle waiting to be confirmed. The Bishop rubbedcrism on my forehead, said his statement, and at that moment I became an adult of the church. Then, everything clicked. I understood why my parents wanted me to do everything. CCD educated me about the church and strengthened my religious beliefs. Confirmation connected me religiously in a completely different way. Confirmation and eight years of religious education shaped me into who I am today. I finally understood how right my mom was. My mom wanted me to understand that confirmation takes a completely different understand- ing once you’ve become confirmed. I’ve gained knowledge that will last a lifetime so CCD was one of the most beneficial accomplishments of my life.
© Chris Brzuskiewicz. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.