With effort and creativity, sponsor relationship continues after confirmation

| Susan Klemond | March 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

Claire Sorteberg, right, and her confirmation sponsor Mary Pavek visit in the lounge at NET Ministries in West St. Paul March 14. Sorteberg will be serving on a NET team next year. Photo by Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Sometimes it takes five calls to get a date on the calendar but Mary Pavek and her goddaughter Claire Sorteberg stay in touch despite their busy schedules.

Almost two years after Sorteberg was confirmed at St. Ambrose in Woodbury, Pavek doesn’t consider her responsibility as a sponsor completed. As she did during confirmation preparation, Pavek continues to pray for the teen and develop her relationship with her.

“I continue to take her out to dinner, when I see her give her hugs, write her notes,” said Pavek, who attends St. Mary in Stillwater. “When we’re together, having dinner or going for a walk, I’ll find out what’s happening in her life, what’s important, what’s been hard and then somewhere in there in her conversation I’ll ask her how her prayer life is doing.”

Spiritual support

Since Pavek has been involved throughout her life, Sorteberg said it was natural to ask her to be a sponsor and that the two had good talks during the confirmation process. She said they continue to have good conversations and get together for holidays, her birthday and other occasions. Sorteberg, 18, graduates this spring and plans to serve with NET Ministries next year.

“It’s really inspiring to me to know that I have someone in my life that believes the same as I do but also has more experience,” she said. “She’s there to listen to me but she also has good advice to give. . . . She has more experience but she also has invested in my life.”

Continuing the relationship after confirmation can be done in different ways, such as combining a visit with shopping, going to ball games or taking walks, said Pavek, adding that she keeps asking some of the faith questions she asked as a sponsor.

As challenging as it can be to connect, Pavek said it’s worth the effort because the relationship doesn’t end with the sacrament.

“It doesn’t stop,” she said. “You’re definitely a very important person in their life that’s why they chose you. They see something in you that reflects the Lord’s love and Catholic faith. That’s important and it shouldn’t stop.”


Category: The Lesson Plan