CHOSEN: A Confirmation Study Program to Capture Teens’ Hearts and Minds

I was thirteen once. It was a year of deep emotional turmoil: I was awash in hormones, and I felt gangly and unattractive.

I was an honor student, competent at rote memorization; but I struggled to understand the deeper meaning of the accumulated facts which competed for my attention.

I was uncertain whether the faith which I’d inherited from my parents, and which had governed my life to that point, would be a life-long habit, or whether I’d go to college and drift off into something else.

The fact that Vatican II had only recently ended meant that change was de rigueur: It seemed every week brought new liturgical settings to commit to memory. If these seemingly timeless things could change, couldn’t other tenets of faith also fall by the wayside? I didn’t know.

Add to that the influx of rock and roll and my peers’ new distrust for “the Establishment”, and some fairly mediocre catechetical texts, and it was a tough year for me.

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All of this is to say, It’s hard to be a teenager! And the need to present the Catholic Faith to young teens preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation is a challenge to parents, teachers and sponsors alike. Teenagers are leaving the Church and many are abandoning their faith altogether.

For most Catholic teens, Confirmation is effectively “Graduation,” something they just “have to do.” With nearly 75 percent of young Catholics abandoning their faith in their twenties, the Church simply must do a better job at youth catechesis.

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It has been my great privilege to review a new, exhaustive faith-formation resource from Ascension Press which offer young people all the information they need to choose Christ with confidence. Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation is a hefty text which doesn’t speak down to the young men and women who will use it. At the same time, it’s engaging—with its catchy graphics, stunning photography, weighty questions and confident answers to the questions teens ask.

The text carries an imprimatur from Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput says of the text,

Teens who experience Chosen will find themselves drawn deeply into the beauty of Catholicism and the love of Jesus Christ. In a world searching for meaning, Chosen speaks to the hearts and minds of our youth through comprehensive materials and engaging videos taught by an impressive array of presenters. This is a new level of catechesis that uses modern methods to transmit eternal truths.”

Chosen explores salvation history, revelation, and the four last things. It teaches about the sacraments, the beatitudes, prayer, virtue, and Mary the Mother of God. It answers tough questions about love and sexuality, and it challenges the reader to say ‘yes’ to Christ, and to build His Church.

But instead of sounding preachy, Chosen approaches each of these topic areas by raising the questions which teens must ask. Tough questions, like:

  • How do I know God is real?
  • Why be Catholic?
  • Why tell my sins to a priest?
  • Why do I have to go to Mass?
  • Do I have what it takes? And
  • Where do I go from here?

Chris Stefanick

There are features on every page: a Hero of the Week, a memory verse, a wrap-up, a pop quiz, accompanied by vibrant photography and great graphics.

The authors of the text and the presenters in the accompanying video series (which is filmed on location across the U.S., in Rome and internationally) are a veritable Who’s Who of young Catholic voices and faces:

  • co-authors Chris Stefanick, founder of Real Life Catholic, and
  • Ron Bolster, director of the Office of Catechetics at Franciscan University.
  • Jackie Francois Angel, Catholic recording artist
  • Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, founder and director of Servant Enterprises, Inc.
  • Brian Butler, co-author of Theology of the Body for Teens
  • The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia (including Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel, who has been in the news recently for her talk in North Carolina)
  • Jason Evert, popular chastity speaker
  • Chris Padgett, professor of theology at Franciscan and author of three books
  • Fr. Michael Schmitz, director of youth and young adult ministry in Duluth and director of the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry
  • Sarah Swafford, director of special projects for Catholic Identity at Benedictine College
  • Fr. Mark Toups, director of seminarians in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodeau
  • Mary Ann Weisinger, from the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis in the Diocese of Oakland.

But wait, there’s more! There are also contributions from Leah Darrow, international speaker who was a professional model and star of a reality show. Fr. Crispan Rinaldi and Fr. Richard Roemer from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are also featured.

But that’s not all! The Chosen curriculum is reinforced by an eight-DVD set including 24 lessons which parallel the chapters of the text.

Oh, and did I mention that there is a thorough (260-page) Leader’s Guide for the classroom, as well as smaller but helpful guides for Sponsors as well as Parents?

The creators of Chosen have produced a gift for young people and for the whole Church.

To see the Chosen trailer and to learn how this comprehensive learning experience integrates video and workbook lessons, as well as how materials for leaders, parents, and sponsors are seamlessly incorporated into this dynamic program, visit ConfirmationStudy.com.

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A GIVE-AWAY!

Great news! One reader of this blog will receive a free Chosen DVD set, direct from Ascension Press!  To qualify for the drawing, include your comment below or send me an email at kathy@seasonsofgrace.net.

The 8-DVD Set provides twenty-four lessons (approximately 15-20 each) with some of the most powerful and compelling speakers in the Church. To preview some of their lessons, visit http://confirmationstudy.com/preview.

Please use this link to purchase: http://confirmationstudy.com.

Want to know more?  Check out the trailer below!

  • Robbie

    Does the Chosen series address the mission Church that Pope Francis refers to? I did not see that concept in the promo material.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That looks really good. If I win it, I’ll give it over to my parish. But if there’s someone with a teen child with upcoming confirmation, I’ll defer it to that person.

  • Melanie

    I would really like to win this DVD set. It sounds amazing. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • oregon nurse

    If I win I will give it to my parish religious ed program.

  • maryemily

    Thank you for sharing this resource! Would love to win a set of DVDs to teach catechism with for next fall!

  • Brit

    Oh, this looks like something I would love to use with each of my kids as we hit the teen years (we homeschool).

  • Mom2Many

    I have a daughter preparing for confirmation and a son who was recently confirmed. I’d love to do this with them and then share with the Parish.

  • Monica Mire

    Our oldest son will be in Confirmation prep soon. I would donate the DVD to our church parish!

  • Maccabeus

    I am the pastor of a large Catholic parish in Connecticut, and we have been looking for a new Confirmation prep program for our teens. This looks like a dynamic way to introduce teens into the beauty and depth of Catholicism as they prepare for Confirmation.

  • bandman2joe

    I’ve been following the development of CHOSEN from the beginning. To me, it is a Godsend to Confirmation programs throughout the country. The theology, dogma and questions presented are not only suitable for confirmandi, but for ALL Catholics. I’ve recommended the program to our DRE who has ordered a preview set which I will examine as soon as it arrives.
    A second program will offer a number of varied opportunities to utilize CHOSEN. Portions can be used in some Adult Religious Education courses; RCIA; it can be used as a session “loaner” for students who might miss a class; and to a creative religious educator, a number of effective uses.
    KUDOS to Ascension Press and to all involved in the creation os this program!

  • John Quinn

    Thank you for making this great offering.

  • Colleen M

    What a wonderful resource! I have a child preparing for Confirmation. I would love to watch this with her! Thank you for offering it.

  • Vicki Compton

    I have been looking forward to previewing this program. I hope I win so I can share the program throughout my diocese.

  • Mickey

    This program looks like a great solution for what our Church needs today! I actually called Ascension Press to order this and have my parish review it and they gave me a 60 days to review this at no cost! Now if my parish for some odd reason can’t implement this I can send it back and not have to pay! I am sure we will use this but that was or is a great and generous offer.

  • Lori George

    I teach Confirmation prep at our parish and would absolutely love to win this!! I think I will send an email too.

  • Mary

    I was just introduced to this Confirmation resource this week. Strongly considering this for CCD program.

  • Annie Johnson

    Our parish ordered this for our confirmation classes this year (US Army Schofield Barracks/AMR/Wheeler) – we are a 3-chapel Army parish…part of the delivery went missing and so now we have to share the DVD set between the two chapels running confirmation (Schofield/AMR). We are not quite sure how the logistics will work in order to get the set from one chapel to the next on Sunday mornings (35 minute drive). We could sure use this give away.

  • Sandi Sherman

    I am a new convert of 3 yrs.,after being Baptist for over 65 yrs. My husband and I have worked with teens for the last 2 yrs and when I saw this today my heart just was so excited for the teens that will be Blessed. Would love to be able to get it for the Perish but as we are retired on a fixed income can’t really afford to buy it for the Church. We are working in CCD with 4th graders and if we were to win would make sure this is a program our teens were introduce to it and donate it to the teen program at the Church. This is such a great program and I wish I was 30 yrs. younger as would love to be involved in the Spirit filled lives of the youth.
    Thanks and Bless you.


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