Confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation. It increases and deepens baptismal grace, unites the recipients more firmly to Christ, intensifies their adoption as children of God, increases the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in the recipients and gives them the strength of the Holy Spirit to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by spreading and defending the faith.
The practice in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is to confirm young men and women in the eleventh grade. The diocesan bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation. This ordinarily takes place in the Easter Season.
The Altoona-Johnstown diocesan policy calls for a process which requires attendance in a parish Religious Education Program in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades.
Scripture study, worship and prayer services, instruction, retreats, and Christian service are all essential and irreplaceable parts of the process. In it the candidates for Confirmation together with their sponsors and families commit to a three-year process of preparation before celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Sponsors for the Sacrament of Confirmation must obtain a certificate of eligibility from the parish in which they are currently registered in order to verify that they meet the requirements.
Every baptized person not yet confirmed is encouraged to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Adults and young people beyond the 11th grade who wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation are asked to call the Religious Education Office to arrange for participation in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).