Friday, April 11, 2014

#Chosen - Your Journey Toward Confirmation - A Complete @AscensionPress Confirmation Program #Catholic

Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation 
  • A 24 Lesson Program That Incorporates Video and Workbook Components
  • Speaks Powerfully to 8th - 10th Grade Students Preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation
  • Granted Imprimatur by Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
  • Video Segments by Some of the Most Sought After Catholic Youth Speakers in the World
  • Easy to Follow Leader's Guide and an Engaging Student Text Help Classes Flow Smoothly
  • Teacher and Sponsor Handbooks Allow Adults to Actively Engage With the Candidates
  • Relevant .pdf Downloads are Available to Aid With Essential Elements of Confirmation Preparation
  • Program DVDs and Books May Be Purchased in Bundles or Separately
  • To See Purchase Options and Pricing Visit This Page and Scroll to the Bottom
  • The website for Chosen is  (Don't Miss the Awesome Chosen Blog!)
  • Chosen is an Ascension Press Program 
  • Find Ascension Press on Facebook and Twitter (@AscensionPress) and YouTube
Chosen Bundle
My boys are entering ninth grade and they will be making their Confirmation in a little over a year.  This is a very important Catholic sacrament and candidates need to be properly catechized before they make these vows.  Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation was recently released by Ascension Press and does a fantastic job preparing young people.  The presenters are especially effective because they have found a way to captivate the minds and hearts of young people while remaining faithful to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I am very impressed by the program!  I have used several segments to teach my current Religious Education Class and they enjoyed the speakers, the format, and the lesson plans.

The videos are shot on location in over 40 different destinations throughout the world.  The resulting backdrops for the lessons are very impressive.  In addition to being visually pleasing, the classes are delivered by some of the most popular Catholic youth speakers available.  If I could plan a fantasy dream retreat for young people, these names would all be on the guest speaker list - what a gift to be able to bring them into our parish classroom and my Catholic homeschool living room each week.

Chosen Speakers
If you are familiar with the faces, you can see that the speakers include Chris Stefanik, Jackie Francois Angel, Deacon Burke-Sivers, Brian Butler, Jason Evert, Father Michael Schmitz, Chris Padgett, Sarah Swafford, Father Mark Toups, and Mary Ann Wiesinger.  The Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia, and Leah Darrow are also included.

Here is a promotional clip that will help you to feel the mood of the program:

As you can see, the music and the visual effects will definitely engage our young people who respond so well to this type of  multi-sensory lesson.

Now, although these guys and gals in the videos are a tough act to follow we (the teachers) are given a great resource in the Leader's guide.  From opening and closing prayers, relevant discussion prompts - it is all there.  The book gives us a lesson overview, shows us what the students see in their workbooks, and fills the margins with tips, pointers, how much time to spend on each topic, and there is a place to write notes, too.

Chosen leader Text 1
So, does it cover everything?  Will the students be prepared for confirmation?

I have been through the 24 lessons myself, and as I mentioned earlier I have shared a few lessons with my 8th grade religious education class.  I think it does a great job covering the material - but see for yourself - here are the chapters, in order.
Lesson 1: “Why am I here?” (An Introduction to Chosen)
Lesson 2: “What makes me happy?” (Discovering God as the Source)
Lesson 3: “What’s your story, God?” (A Look at Salvation History)
Lesson 4: “How do I know God is real?” (Understanding Divine Revelation)
Lesson 5: “Who is Jesus?” (The Person and Mission of Christ)
Lesson 6: “Why be Catholic?” (Discovering the Church Jesus Founded)
Lesson 7: “Where am I going?” (A Look at the Four Last Things)
Lesson 8: “How do I get there?” (The Power and Purpose of the Sacraments)
Lesson 9: “When did my journey begin?” (Baptism, Your Initiation into God’s Family)
Lesson 10: “Why tell my sins to a priest?” (The Healing Power of Confession)
Lesson 11: “How does God help when it hurts?” (Anointing of the Sick and Redemptive Suffering)
Lesson 12: “Who is the Holy Spirit?” (Meeting the Third Person of the Trinity)
Lesson 13: “What does the Holy Spirit do for me?” (Gifts for the Journey)
Lesson 14: “Why have I been Chosen?” (Sealed and Sent in Confirmation)
Lesson 15: “Why do I have to go to Mass?” (Encountering Jesus in the Eucharist)
Lesson 16: “What does it mean to say, ‘I do’?” (Marriage, a Sign of God’s Love)
Lesson 17: “Who’s calling?” (Holy Orders and Vocational Discernment)
Lesson 18: “Are you talking to me?” (Getting to Know God Through Prayer)
Lesson 19: “Who is Mary?” (Meeting the Mother of God – and Your Heavenly Family)
Lesson 20: “What would Jesus do?” (The Beatitudes as a Path to True Happiness)
Lesson 21: “Do I have what it takes?” (Building Virtue – Your Spiritual Workout)
Lesson 22: “Why wait?” (God’s Plan for Love and Sex)
Lesson 23: “How do I build the kingdom?” (Saying “Yes” to the Mission of Christ and His Church)
Lesson 24: “Where do I go from here?” (The Journey Continues)
Lessons begin with a quick video review quiz that covers material from the preceding lesson, then there are three video segments which will cover the week's topic.  In between each video there is time for group discussion and there are workbook pages which I will discuss below.

Teachers also have the resources on the downloads page that I linked to in the bullet points.  There you will find a great guide for a three day retreat, a printable Candidate Commitment form, a guide for a Penance Service, an Examination of Conscience, the Rite of Welcoming, the Rite of Enrollment, a pre-Confirmation Interview and a Letter of Conformity if you need to print it to show it to a parish RE coordinator or pastor.

The Student Workbook is also well done.  There are bright photos, an opening prayer (teach them to pray!) interesting stories, (teach them why it matters and what our faith looks like in real life!) a "hero" of the week (teach them about our glorious saints!) and a challenge for the week. (live it out!)  Lessons end with a wrap up, some key words to contemplate, a memory verse, an interesting fact, and some quick Catholic Apologetics.

Chosen Student Text
The lessons connect with teens while encouraging and inspiring them them.  They are given spiritual, intellectual and emotional guidance that is in accordance with the CCC and doesn't treat them like spiritual and emotional infants.

These are the Parent and Sponsor Guides.  Both are very similar, but the parent guide has pages which describe each lesson.  I love this because it gives parents the opportunity to engage their student in a conversation about what they learned in class instead of relying on the teen to relay the information.

Chosen Parent and Sponsor TextsWith these books Candidate, Parent, and Sponsor can all share the journey and make the Sacrament more meaningful.  They will also be better equipped to support their teen - since many people my age were not well catechized and may be learning this information for the first time.

I have been a long time fan of Ascension Press programs - and this one is is definitely a home run for today's typical Confirmation candidate.  It has the potential to reach the students and bring them to a personal relationship with Jesus and an understanding of The Church that so many of our teens are missing.

If you think the program would be a good fit for your parish, visit the website and check out the what they call the guided tour of the program.  You will see session samples and get a preview of the guides for leaders, parents, and sponsors.

Ascension Press always offers a risk free trial of their programs to priests, religious, DREs, teachers, youth ministers, and others who are authorized to make purchase decisions for a parish, (arch)diocese or school provided that they are located in the continental United States.

If you still have questions you may call (800) 376-0520, email, or use the website link to chat online with a representative.  Their business hours are 8:45-5:00 CST Monday through Friday. (excluding holidays)