LETTER TO THE BISHOP
The Church teaches us that the unifying figure in each (arch)diocese is the bishop. St.
Ignatius of Antioch, who was a student of St. John the Evangelist, and who was the 3
Bishop of Antioch after Sts. Peter and John, wrote to his followers in the year 105AD that
wherever the bishop is the Catholic Church is there. For this reason, the Bishop remains
the principle celebrant of the Rite of Confirmation, as a sign of unity for all those being
confirmed into the faith in his particular diocese. The bishop does however have the
authority to allow assistant (known as auxiliary bishops) bishops, or even pastors to
confirm with special permission if there is a difficulty in his being able to confirm all the
For this reason it is important that each candidate express his or her desire to be
confirmed in writing to the bishop. In the letter we share who we are and a little about
ourselves, why we wish to be confirmed, perhaps even our struggles and doubts about the
process, as well as who our confirmation saint is and why we chose that particular saint.
The letter should be typed, in a business letter format and included in an envelope
addressed to the bishop, or to the priest who is designated to preside over your
confirmation. The envelope does not need to have a full address on it, nor does it require
a stamp, as they will all be sent to the bishop together from the parish, but a proper return
address should be included on the envelope for easy reference both for St. Peter’s Parish
staff, as well as for the bishop and his staff.
The following is some basic information to be sure you write your letter correctly:
1. The proper way to address the bishop is “Your Excellency, (Arch)Bishop X”
***PLEASE NOTE THAT BISHOP RICHARD J. SKLBA IS THE
CONFIRMING BISHOP FOR EACH OF YOU***
2. The proper way to address a priest who is presiding is “Reverend Father X”
a. If the priest is the dean of the district (like Fr. Rick is), a Monsignor (a
special title given by the Vatican) or works for the central offices of the
diocese, the proper addressing is: “Very Reverend, Father X”
3. In concluding your letter, you should close with reference to the faith we share
with the bishop, which is of course one of the points in writing him in the first
place. Any of the following, or something similar, would be appropriate:
a. “In Christ”, “Sincerely Yours in Christ”, “in the grace of the Spirit”,
“Your brother/sister in Christ”, etc.
On the back of this letter, you will find a copy of an appropriate sample letter.