Confirmation Service Journal
Through our Baptism, we become disciples of Christ. At Confirmation, your initiation into the Church will be complete. As part of your preparation for this Sacrament, we ask you to complete Acts of Service and reflect on what you learned from the experience.
As followers of Jesus we are suppose to follow His example. Christian service is a lifelong process. A process that can begin at any age! When we think of others and act on their behalf, you learn from the experience.
Some Acts of Service will take hours or days (or even be spread over several months), other acts may only take 5 or 10 minutes. Service is not about counting hours, but learning to live as Christ did, caring for others.
Each time you record an Act of Service, you will be reflecting on what the experience taught you.

You should complete 12 reflections by March 31, 2021. Do not wait until the last minute to get started! We would like to see 2 submissions per month, beginning in September. Feel free to get a head start this summer!

The Journal is based on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. We encourage you to try and do an act for each Work of Mercy. Even though some may seem more challenging you can always reach out to the Religious Ed Office, or your teachers for more guidance.

***Please do not do more than 2 reflections per Work of Mercy, we encourage all 12 reflections to be a different Work of Mercy, but if needed you can reflect on the same Work of Mercy twice.

We want you to go through your life thinking about how you can be of service. Look through the list of Works of Mercy and be aware of things that you can do in many of the ‘categories.’

There are no time requirements to fulfill. Some things will take five minutes; some may take a long term commitment of weeks or months. (For example, tutoring a younger child.)
We want you to do a variety of things. You may like or favor one activity, but look through the list and think of ways to do various things.

We want you to write reflectively about a) what you did b) how much time you spent c) what you learned.
Answers like “I learned a lot” or “This was a good experience” are NOT reflective answers. They are short, unthoughtful answers! We expect you to tell us what happened and what it meant to you!

Do not wait until the last moment to work on this journal. A healthy and responsible amount would be two reflections each month. If you try to do all twelve reflections at once you will feel burned out and resent the reflection. The goal of this journal is to help you build skills that will allow you to continue to grow in your Christian faith beyond Confirmation.
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY- caring about the physical needs of others!
1. To feed the hungry.
Everyone needs food for their body. It is an act of love to help others to obtain their bodily nourishment, especially those in greatest need.
[Examples: Bringing food to the poor, donating money to buy food for the poor, sharing your food or candy, helping to shop for groceries, helping with the cooking, doing dishes, waiting on company.]

2. To give drink to the thirsty
What is said of food also applies to drink.
[Examples: Giving someone a drink on a hot day, giving the baby its bottle, pouring drinks at the table, lifting up a young child to get a drink at a water fountain.]

3. To clothe the naked.
[Everyone needs clothing for warmth, protection, modesty and dignity. It is an act of love to help others obtain clothing, especially those who need help.
Examples: Bringing clothes to a needy family, sharing outgrown clothes with another family, bringing clothes to a clothing drive, helping a young child get dressed, helping with laundry at home.]

4. To visit the imprisoned.
Those in prison and many other persons and their families suffer hindrances or dangers to freedom. Helping them, visiting them or protecting them is an act of love.
[Examples: fighting for humane treatment for the imprisoned, helping to care for the families of the imprisoned, protecting a little child from a bigger child.]

5. To shelter the homeless.
Everyone needs shelter. Some people live in cardboard homes; some people live in homes made of discarded materials; many people are homeless. To help the homeless obtain shelter or to preserve it is an act of love.
[Examples: Bringing others to your home in times of fire, floods, or other disaster. Working at or supporting a homeless shelter. Helping to take care of the house, dusting the furniture, making the beds, cleaning the floor, and cutting the grass.]

6. To visit the sick.
Helping sick people in any way is an act of love.
[Examples: Visiting someone in the hospital or nursing home. Visiting someone who is sick at home or the elderly who are shut-ins. Running an errand for an elderly or sick person. Reading to the sick or elderly.]

7. To bury the dead.
It is an act of love to show respect for the bodies of the dead, since during life, they were temples of the Holy Spirit and received the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion.
[Examples: Going to funerals and wakes. Treating cemeteries with respect. Cutting the grass on a grave. Putting flowers on it.]
I can’t do things like visit people in jails!
Ah! Here is your chance to think creatively!
For example, you can do some research on prisoners of conscience, held because of their political beliefs. Write a letter to their government asking for their freedom.
Find out about why the Catholic church opposes the death penalty. Check with the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty (www.ncadp.org) to see if there are letter writing campaigns to governors on behalf of prisoners awaiting execution.
Even if you can’t go to jails, you can be aware of issues of justice and injustice in our world, and get involved by making your opinion known.
There are other ways to get involved other than to do direct service. You can give money that YOU EARN, for example.
Direct service is important and you should do things that directly help people, but it is not the only avenue for being a disciple.
What about things like just helping around the neighborhood?
Those count too! For example, if you rake the lawn of an elderly neighbor, in a way it is visiting the ill. (Or at least letting your youthful strength substitute for old creaky bones!)

What if I am still stuck about what to do?
Ask your sponsor for ideas. Ask your family. Ask your teachers. Ask the parish staff.
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY- caring for the spiritual and psychological needs of others
1. To admonish the sinner.
It is an act of love to try to make another realize how bad sin is. We can let him know indirectly, especially by our example, that we do not approve of his actions.
[Examples: help them understand why something is wrong, suggest they go to Confession or talk to a priest, help them think about the cause and effect of their words or actions]

2. To instruct the ignorant.
It is an act of love to help others in one way or another to learn the truths they need to know to save their souls.
[Examples: If you are good at something be willing to teach that skill to others, share what you know about your faith with your friends or younger siblings and cousins, help tutor a classmate or sibling]

3. To counsel the doubtful.
It is an act of love to help others to be certain about what they should do to love and serve God.
[Examples: be willing to explain things, pray for people who are making tough decisions, pray for people with suicidal thoughts]

4. To comfort the sorrowful.
It is an act of love to help another person in any kind of sorrow
[Examples: visit someone who is sad and spend time with them, pray with someone who is sad, comfort others by baking cookies, making a meal or sending a card]

5. To bear wrongs patiently.
It is an act of love to accept the consequences of another’s thoughtlessness or carelessness and to suffer inconveniences which another should bear. This is the example given to us by Jesus who suffered greatly for us all when he was innocent.
[Examples: don't help people expecting to be thanked, be kind and understanding when someone makes a mistake, be patient with others- especially our siblings!]

6. To forgive all injuries.
It is an act of deep love to forgive all those who have injured us in any way, even deliberately and with malice. Christ demands that His followers have great love and forgiveness for one another and even for our enemies in imitation of His own forgiveness of us and of His enemies as He hung on the cross.
[Examples: always be willing to forgive others as Christ forgives us, try not to hold grudges, give second chances]

7. To pray for the living and the dead.
Sharing in the communion of saints demands that we pray for everyone.
[Examples: pray for people going through hard times, ask your friends how you can pray for them, pray when you drive past a cemetery, pray as a firetruck or ambulance passes by, pray for your deceased family and friends- get Masses offered in their name]
Name (First & last) *
Tuesday Night Student or School *
Which WORK OF MERCY are you reflecting on? *
What was your Act of Service (what did you do?)- answer in at least 3 sentences. *
Saint Mother Teresa was know for a saying... "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
When did you perform this Act of Service? How long did it take you? *
In at least 4 Sentences, how did this Act of Service relate to a Work of Mercy? *
In at least 6 Sentences, what did you learn from this Act of Service? Is it something you would try to do again/ more often? *
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