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Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation below

(Before you go ... here is what comes next.)

Get Teens to Take Ownership of Their Faith
without Having to Water It Down

Plus, Clear Up One of the Main Misunderstandings
Confirmation Prep Leaders Face

If you are a DRE, a pastor, or anyone who works on a parish Confirmation prep program, this letter is for you.

The story at a lot of parishes is about bored teens checking a box in order to please their parents and get confirmed so they can “graduate” from religious education.

We’re going to show you how to rewrite that story.

Read on if you dream of a different version of Confirmation prep.

Learn how to get teens interested in learning about the Faith.

Wouldn’t you like to spend your Confirmation prep sessions fielding questions from your candidates? To see them so excited about what they’re learning that they just keep digging?

When that spark of curiosity gets lit for them, you don’t have to keep pushing.

They take over. And, at that point, you can accompany them in their faith walk, answering their questions and offering encouragement.

Understand why so many teens don’t pay attention in the first place

It’s hard to fix what you don’t understand. And when it comes to Confirmation prep, what every parish is looking to fix is “how do I get them to pay attention?”

But, before we can get them to pay attention, we need to understand why they aren’t paying attention in the first place. We’ll explain why in this letter.

Then we’ll show you how to fix it.

Discover what you can do to solve attendance problems

Just getting your candidates to show up in the first place can be a challenge. We’ll show you what you can do to get them in the door.

You’ll have them not only showing up but participating and growing closer to one another and forming strong Christian friendships and a sense of community.

Drastically reduce the amount of time you spend working on your program

You may be reading this thinking, “Sure … but how much more work are you putting on my plate to get all of this done?”

None. The opposite in fact. We’re going to show you how to free up the hours of time you’ve been spending on your Confirmation prep program each week.

What can you get done in that time? Imagine. You can finally get to those ministries you’ve wanted to put in place but haven’t been able to.

You can use that extra time to get more organized, plan out further ahead, or maybe just spend it with your family.

Find how to find and keep more volunteers for your program.

While others are going crazy trying to find volunteers, we’re going to show you how to find even more. Not just that, we’ll show you how to get them to come back year after year.

You’ll be able to build a great team that you trust, who are on fire with the Holy Spirit. And, together, you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of these candidates.

If you’d like that, keep reading. Because we hear every day from parishes where Confirmation prep continues to be a struggle.

Hard to find volunteers

How many bulletin announcements, pulpit calls, and personal invitations do you make each year and yet still have a hard time getting all the volunteers you need?

And how often do you have to take what comes along and be grateful for it, rather than finding people who are well-suited for the role?

Passionate, knowledgeable, charismatic Catholics with a heart for service and a way with teens don’t exactly grow on trees.

Confirmation prep competes with extracurricular activities

Another force that we are battling against is time. There are only so many hours in the day.

Between school, sports, band, theater, dance, and so many other clubs they might be involved with, getting teens to show up to your Confirmation prep program can seem nearly impossible.

You’d love for them to prioritize their Faith over all of those things. But how can we make that happen?

When they show up they seem bored and won’t participate.

Those candidates that do show up can still be a struggle. They may be on their phones. They may just be zoning out.

Regardless, it just feels like they don’t care about what you’re trying to share with them. No matter what you do, it won’t sink in!

You could set yourself on fire at the front of the room and not get so much as a raised eyebrow out of them.

Candidates disappear and stop going to Mass.

Even more disappointing than how teens can be in class can be what happens after Confirmation. You spend an entire year (or two!) teaching them about the Faith, but once they receive the sacrament … they disappear.

These young men and women, sealed in the Spirit, now stop going to Mass, stop going to Confession, and stop living the life of a disciple of Christ!


They see it as graduation.

Time and time again we hear that teens and their parents view Confirmation as “graduation.” They see it as some sort of rite of passage for Catholics.

And, sadly, that rite of passage, once complete, means they no longer have to “jump through the hoops” of sacramental prep. (Until they want to get married a few years down the road.)

In a culture that views marriage as a “contract” instead of a covenant, so many relationships are reduced to a transaction. That same attitude has infected our young people in their relationship with the Lord.

God loves them so much and desires a deeper closeness with them. And they are missing out on all that he wants to offer them.

That is just one of the reasons we’re so excited to help you reach them more effectively.

But before we get there, we need to address some of the issues that may be holding you back—things you may not even be aware of.

You don’t need to do it all yourself

Your problem is NOT that you aren’t doing enough.

It’s that you’re doing too much.

When we talk to DREs, youth ministers, and catechists around the country, we’re always struck by just how hard-working you are.

There is no quit in you at all. And that is a remarkable and admirable thing. But it can also lead to you overextending yourself.

When it comes to your Confirmation program, you don’t need to build it from scratch for it to work well for you.

You have an inner fire to serve your candidates, their parents, your pastor, and your parish.


That doesn’t mean you need to put it all on your shoulders.

What your candidates need from you is your guidance, your wisdom, and your ability to be there to talk to them and hear them as they figure out their journey.

They don’t need you to write a book, a talk, or a program all by yourself. They need you to witness what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ.

Witnesses not teachers.

For your catechists and volunteers, it’s the same story.

If you’ve been looking for people to give compelling talks to communicate the theological points you need to cover in your Confirmation prep program, you almost certainly have found it a struggle if not impossible.

Compelling speakers are rare. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

And there’s no need! Your candidates don’t need brilliant theologians as their leaders.

They need disciples.

They need Christians.

They need men and women who can witness what a life led in Christ is like.

The truth is there are plenty of gifted speakers and writers who can do the heavy lifting of delivering the content you need to convey.

Let your catechists and volunteers be witnesses.

Programs don’t evangelize people, people do.

Now you might be sitting there thinking that we want you to take the easy way out.

Just “putting the kids in front of a TV and putting our feet up” or something like that.

Often we’ll hear folks say “programs don’t evangelize people, people evangelize people.”

We totally agree.

We don’t think programs evangelize people either. But we do think they can help.

You see, a lot of the time, when your catechists and volunteers are burdened with delivering content, that gets in the way of them witnessing to your candidates.

Accurately conveying the theology of Catholic teaching in a compelling way isn’t something a lot of people can do. And creating those presentations takes time.

Having a program to lean on frees up your time and their time. And that is precious time that can be very well spent.

Why? A big part of evangelization entails listening—active, deep, careful listening. And you can’t listen when you're talking.

We tend to think that the trick to getting candidates to engage is coming up with some brilliant speech or testimony. But the saying goes, “They’ll only care about you once they know you care about them.”

How do we show them we care? We listen. We hear them out. We let them express themselves and show them we understand where they are coming from.

Simple as that.

We need to free up catechists and volunteers to evangelize and break through, and we need to start now.

We’re running out of chances.

Anyone who looks at the numbers realizes what we need.

In 2000, 630,465 kids were confirmed. In 2020, that number was 537,283. That’s a 15% drop in 20 years.

But let’s dig a little deeper. From 2000 to 2010, it only dropped by 5%. (About half a percent per year.)

But, since 2010, it’s been dropping 1% each year. The rate has DOUBLED. Drip, drip, drip. As time goes on, fewer and fewer young people are coming to get confirmed.

What we have been doing is not working.

And, if we don't change our approach, we'll see the trend continue.

Right now, our hope is in the people—especially the young people—still coming to our parishes and giving us the opportunity to make the case for Catholicism.

We need to seize the opportunity we have today while we can.

It’s only going to get harder in the future.

Take a look at any of the recent Pew studies, and you’ll see fewer Americans identifying as Christian, with steady declines for both Catholics and Protestants. You’ll also see more and more people claiming no religious affiliation.

Every year we wait, our mission of sharing our Faith becomes harder. Our audience is becoming less and less open to the message of the Gospel.

So, if we delay, we’re only making our mission harder. We need to act now.

It’s a lot to digest.

And on top of it all, we know that Confirmation prep is only one part of your job at the parish.

There are dozens of other responsibilities on your plate that you also need to take care of.

This is why we’re releasing the newly revised Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation.

The original edition of Chosen has touched the lives of more than half a million Confirmation candidates, hundreds of thousands of parents and sponsors, and thousands of parishes.

Chosen is produced by Ascension, makers of other incredibly popular Faith formation programs including:

  • The Bible Timeline (The #1 Catholic Bible Study in America),
  • The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz (Ranked #1 on Apple Podcasts),
  • Ascension Presents (One of the most popular Catholic YouTube channels in the English speaking world), and
  • The Great Adventure Catholic Bible (The most popular and best rated Catholic Bible on Amazon).

Chosen was written by Chris Stefanick, who incorporated his many years of teaching Confirmation in the classroom as well as his extensive experience traveling the country as a speaker and retreat leader. The program was co-authored by Ron Bolster, the Director of Catechetics at The Fransiscan University of Steubenville, and also features the talents of:

  • Jackie Angel,
  • Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers,
  • Brian Butler,
  • Leah Darrow,
  • Jason Evert,
  • Fr. Josh Johnson,
  • Mari Pablo,
  • Chris Padgett,
  • Fr. Mike Schmitz,
  • Sarah Swafford,
  • Fr. Mark Toups,
  • Mary Ann Weisinger,
  • and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.

Chosen will transform Confirmation prep at your parish.

It will transform the experience of your teens:

  • Eliminate your teens’ glassy-eyed, half-lidded stares with fast-paced, high-quality video presentations shot in more than 50 locations around the world.
  • Let a diverse group of more than a dozen top presenters drive home the truth to candidates that they belong in the Church and have a part to play in Christ’s story.
  • Draw teens further into a life of faith, lived out through the reception of the sacraments and with a heart for service, all centered around a dynamic relationship with Jesus and his Church.
  • Transform dull, monotonous sessions that practically force your teens to daydream into irresistible lessons that grab their attention and make them actually excited about coming again.
  • The “slap yourself in the forehead”-easy way to get your candidates AND their parents more invested in showing up for Confirmation prep.
  • The gigantic mindset lever that needs to switch on before Confirmation prep can truly and deeply take root.

It will transform the experience of your catechists and volunteers:

  • Get your new volunteers up to speed quickly with an easy-to-implement workshop featuring a 4-part leadership video series.
  • Learn the truth behind what is keeping most of your prep parents from engaging and the simple way to address it (in less than 20 minutes)
  • Find out the reason why beginner catechists often tend to have the most success with running Confirmation prep sessions and how “the curse of knowledge” can 100% sabotage your program.
  • Build a superstar team of dedicated volunteers who run your program seamlessly without needing to hold their hands (and who stick around for years to come).
  • Unlock 68 of the easiest ways to turn around a Confirmation prep session that looks like a one-way ticket to Dulls-ville and transform it into a bullet train to Excitement-burg.
  • It is IMPOSSIBLE to respond to the needs of your candidates if you can’t see their progress. Discover how to check the progress of every teen in your program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Never hear “I forgot my book” again with a simple, easy way to give your candidates access to their materials anywhere, anytime.

It will transform your own experience:

  • Discover the “Four Stages” that all candidates must go through before they’ll be able to become a disciple.
  • Did you know that teens are the perfect audience for the Gospel? It’s all about how it’s presented. You’ll see exactly how to go about it in Chosen.
  • Reclaim hours (and HOURS) of the time you’ve been spending scouring the internet for resources and cobbling resources together to build or supplement your program.
  • Enjoy the feeling of your program running smoothly without the need for you to create any content on your own.

You’ll discover all of this and more in the newly refreshed Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation.

And what are people saying about Chosen?


Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland

“I find Chosen to be a well-organized, informative and inspirational Confirmation program and the catechesis on the videos is presented in an interesting and relatable fashion.”

Most Reverend Liam Cary, Bishop of Baker

Chosen is attention-getting [and] the content is substantial, thought-provoking, and explicitly well-grounded in the Catechism.”

Most Reverend James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln

Chosen speaks to youth in their language, from their culture, and with the enduring love of Jesus Christ.”

Most Reverend Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City

“I, unreservedly, recommend the Chosen program to all the faithful preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.”


Cassie, age 13

“The examples that they use in the videos are really relatable and you can understand them, it’s not just people lecturing you.”

Molly, age 12

“I think the small groups really help me because I can talk about my religion.”

Kendall, age 13

“It wasn’t just a lot of facts and people just talking. Chosen is fun and enjoyable to watch.”

Connor, age 15

“Before I started Confirmation, my friends and I didn’t really know what we were doing or what the point was. And then after we did Chosen … now we’re all on fire. I actually understand my relationship with Jesus.”


Teresa Henderson, Confirmation Catechist, St. Agnes Parish, Mena, AR

“All I can say is “Bravo!” Chosen is absolutely awesome! The way the program moves from the workbook to the video segments to discussions, etc., is perfect. It keeps this age group moving and engaged.”

Jasmine Pujol, Youth Minister, St. Cecelia Church, Clearwater, FL

“Overall, Chosen is great for both the youth ministers and the teens. We like it because we don’t have to prepare a whole talk along with a schedule and everything else. The teens like it because the videos are fun and it isn’t just the youth ministers talking the entire time.”

Christine Pershey, Director of Faith Formation, Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, Joliet, IL

“Our catechists rave about bringing experts into the classroom through the videos so that their role is to focus on the candidates.”

Nancy Doran, Director of Religious Education, St. Francis of Assisi, West Nyack, NY

“This is just what I have been looking for over the course of many years to get the students out of the text books and into the 21st century!”

Online Reviews


Will use again!

Terry Walters on Sep 10, 2020

This is an excellent and innovative program that will keep your young people involved.


Great and keeps middle/high schoolers engaged

Catholic Mom on Jan 20, 2019

The format works so well for the middle school/high school age group. The presenters are fun and hip, and they present the Gospel message in a fun and engaging way. Two of my children have gone through Chosen. They say that it is fun, while getting into deep topics. They liked the videos, workbook, and the discussion format.



Maria Matos on Aug 24, 2021

This series is wonderful! It is very down-to-earth and reaches my Confirmation group on their level. I have seen other programs, and I can say that one great thing about the videos for Chosen is that each video features a different speaker for the main part of the video. I have taught a Confirmation group with another program where there is only one speaker in the videos and the kids, including my son, got so bored from hearing the same voice and the same mantra.


The kids and the teachers love it! This year our RCIA class has asked ...

September 19, 2017

We have been using Chosen for two years with our middle and high school Confirmation classes. The kids and the teachers love it! This year our RCIA class has asked to use it also. They seem to like it.

One Chosen user shared, ”I have gotten more volunteers out of my last Confirmation class than I have ever gotten before. I will say, I have more former RE students involved in Mass, than the school Confirmation class. Something I take great pride in. Thank you, Ascension. I love Chosen. Keep up the good work.”

Here are all the tools and resources that Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation will give you access to:

Written Resources

  • A full-color student workbook that comes with online access to both the videos and the contents of the workbook.
  • A comprehensive leader’s guide that comes with online access to the videos as well as the leader’s guide materials AND a suite of leader’s materials.
  • A director's manual that provides leaders sixty-eight activities and lesson suggestions; leader formation and training materials; special sessions; a retreat; a penance service; and a supplemental DVD that includes videos for leader orientation, training, and formation, as well as a parent session.
  • A parents’ guide that not only instructs the parents in their integral role with their child’s Confirmation preparation but is an opportunity to revisit and rekindle their own faith. It includes an overview of a parent’s role, guidelines for supporting their child’s journey of faith, and tips for talking with their child about the Faith.
  • A sponsor’s guide that instructs the sponsor how to fulfill their role and is also an opportunity to revisit and rekindle their own faith. It includes an overview of a sponsor’s role, conversation starters, as well as the top ten Catholic questions your candidate may approach you with.


    • 24 lessons featuring a total of 70 short, stunning, visually-compelling video segments conveniently broken down into consumable pieces that engage your candidates attention. Filmed in more than fifty locations throughout the U.S. and internationally and featuring fourteen top youth experts presenting the Faith in new and unexpected ways.
    • A 7-part leader training course that will simplify your leader onboarding process and aid in finding new volunteers.
  • A leader formation series to let you bring your team together, centered in Christ and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Online Resources

  • An online course for the students that brings them simply and seamlessly through the content so leaders can have candidates cover or review content from the program at home and at their convenience.
  • An online leader’s access course that equips your program volunteers and leaders with a library of resources for them to draw from, helping them grow in confidence.

Leader Resources

  • 24 done-for-you newly revised Confirmation prep sessions featuring videos, a student workbook, and a leader’s guide.
  • A parent information session featuring Fr. Mike Schmitz and Chris Stefanick that will engage your Confirmation prep parents and invite them to play a larger role in their child’s Confirmation. (This also includes a parent invitation video from Chris Stefanick that can be easily shared with parents to invite them to your session.)
  • Flexible class outlines that let you adapt the Chosen program to your individual needs to make it work perfectly for you.
  • The candidate commitment template helps your candidates formalize their intention to enter into preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • A pre-Confirmation interview worksheet to help you understand and assess your candidate’s readiness to receive the sacrament.
  • A powerful pre-made penance service outline to save you the work of building one from scratch, while bringing your teens closer to this beautiful sacrament of God’s mercy. (A printable examination of conscience is also included.)
  • A comprehensive, done-for-you Confirmation retreat outline that opens up a space for your candidates to invite Christ into their hearts and lives and sparks within them a desire for a deeper life of faith.    

If you want to see a remarkable change in your candidates, their parents and their sponsors, order Chosen today.

One parish in Louisiana saw amazing results. Their teens went from begrudgingly memorizing answers about Catholicism, being confirmed, and then disappearing from church, to becoming active participants in their parish, truly on fire for the Catholic Faith.

In another case, a youth minister in Florida reported that they had been losing 90% of their teens after Confirmation before switching to Chosen. After they switched it completely reversed, to where they were now keeping 90% of their teens.

Chosen works, and it can work for you.

You have absolutely no risk. If you order Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation and find you don’t like it, just contact us within 45 days for a full refund on the cost of your item.

There is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Order your Starter Pack now with zero risk.

You work incredibly hard in a field that can sometimes be thankless.

You should get to see your hard work bear fruit. Let us help.

We want to see you receiving heartfelt emails of thanks from your candidates parents. We want your pastor to look at you as a trusted ally, helping him to shepherd his flock. And we want you to see the Faith take root in the hearts of your candidates.

We’ve heard stories from so many DREs already. Join them.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. It seems like you want to bring Chosen to your parish.

But we aren’t looking to pressure you into anything.

Pray about this. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Once you’ve prayed about it, if you find that this is where the Lord is leading you, go ahead and place your order.

The Chosen Starter Pack

The Starter Pack provides all the resources a leader needs for the Chosen experience! It contains one DVD Set, one Leader’s Guide, one Student Workbook, one Director's Manual, one Parent's Guide, one Sponsor's Guide, and comes with instant access to the Online Course.