In order to build up attendance, our pastor, Father Patrick Toner, decided to try something new. Maybe it was his military background that inspired the idea of a “boot camp” theme. As he says, it is “basic training for soldiers for Christ.”
“I like it because it requires a commitment from the confirmandi,” Father Toner says, pointing out that, combined with the mandatory retreat, “it is a balanced approach.”
The first year we offered Confirmation Boot Camp, there were a number of differences from our past tug-of-war with parents and students over required attendance. For one thing, no one missed any classes. No one. Even though we are a very small parish, this was no small feat.
Father Toner says he’s “heard nothing but good things: It’s convenient, practical, meaningful, and well-adapted to busy schedules.” And again, it is no small feat for a pastor to only hear positive feedback.