CV News Feed // In an attempt to help teenagers stay active in the Church, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that it will change the age one receives confirmation to eighth grade.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley announced that he had approved the proposal after Bishop Mark O’Connell had conducted extensive research on the matter. In 2023, O’Connell launched a “Confirmation Committee” to research whether the archdiocese should change the age of confirmation. Previously, teenagers were confirmed in high school.
“The cardinal has been listening over many years,” Confirmation Committee member Scott Morin, director of evangelization at the Catholic Parishes of Arlington, told The Pilot in a Jan. 14 interview, “and recently received very strong agreement that change should come now.”
The committee arrived at this decision after speaking with a diverse group of parish and archdiocesan leaders over the course of the previous year. Leaders say that this change should help to retain more youth in the Church.
Jaye Russo serves as the director of religious education at a local parish and was a member of the committee. She shared with The Pilot that this change became necessary because the archdiocese realized that it had to do something to help young Catholics keep practicing their faith.
“We have to do something to shake up our church right now,” Russo said. “We’re losing families; we’re losing kids. The cardinal, in all his wisdom, is bringing this change to our church at the perfect time. It’s a new day for evangelization. I really believe that this is a paradigm shift.”
The two benefits of moving the confirmation age are that it allows parents to be more involved in the catechesis process and that the students are less distracted by the newfound freedoms of high school.
“This really does interfere with catechesis,” Russo said. “In seventh and eighth grade, they’re still children. Their parents are still very involved with their lives, so right now we know that we can get parents involved in catechesis.”
According to various pastors and archdiocesan officials, the changes to the confirmation age are expected to occur in the next two to three years as the archdioceses make the adjustment.