Catechesis for Confirmation as a Pastoral Challenge in Slovenia
Keywords:Confirmation, Confirmation pastoral care, family catechesis, New Evangelisation, carriers of Confirmation pastoral care
The article aims to present the state of confirmation pastoral care in the Slovenian territory. When thinking about confirmation pastoral care we cannot overlook the society we live in, the values this society sets as exemplary. This is where we encounter excessive materialism and secularism. Modern media and various social media are also an important influence. There is also the additional fact that Slovenia is one of the few countries where religious education is not part of the school system. This means that the entire weight of religious education falls on parishes or parish catechesis, the parish pastoral care which has to find ways to be simultaneously a religious education and catechesis, a life of religion. Nor can we overlook the families our candidates for Confirmation grow up in. In Slovenia, the sacrament of Holy Confirmation is granted in the last two years of primary school, therefore, at the milestone between primary and secondary school. Some people call this sacrament the “farewell to Church”. Such a state of Confirmation pastoral care encourages the search for new approaches, both in the preparation for Confirmation as well as regarding the approaches and methods of work after the sacrament of Holy Confirmation has been granted. This process includes several factors: the people being granted Confirmation and their basic family, the parish community, godparents, animators, various pastoral groups (altar boys and girls, singers, scouts), and also various prayer groups who pray for the candidates for Confirmation, godparents and their families. In the concluding part of the article guidelines are presented which will have to be considered in future work with candidates for Confirmation, Confirmation groups, godparents, and parents. Family catechesis is suggested as an alternative which, methodologically speaking, encompasses the entire family and thus ensures greater stability regarding the preparation for Confirmation and the life after it. Some parishes already practice this form of catechesis and the results there have proven to be positive. This means that catechesis is in need of thorough reform. It is a complex process demanding time and a lot of energy. Nevertheless, this approach should be tried with at least some of Confirmation groups.