"I have had parishes tell me they have gone from losing 90% of their kids after confirmation to keeping 90% of their kids after confirmation," he added.
Evert told CNA that he has seen similar enthusiasm from teens and adults. The program has a strong communinty aspect, looking to engage adults while it forms teens. He said this is absent in many confirmation classes.
"The parents aren't impacted by [some confirmation courses], maybe even the confirmation sponsors aren't getting impacted either, and the teens are only seeing this as a requirement, a religious hoop that they have to jump through," he said.
The program "is engaging both the parents and catechizing the sponsors. Because a kid picks a sponsor, it doesn't mean that the sponsor is very well formed themselves," Evert added.
The material is relevant and the speakers are relatable young adults, he explained. The program also uses recent saints, like Blessed Chiara Badano an Italian teenager who died in 1990, and it covers issues identifiable to teens, like dating and vocations.
Students in confirmation classes, if not formed well, are at risk of falling away from the Catholic faith, Evert said. Countering that depends on fostering personal relationships with Christ, he said.
"If you get a kid in love with his faith, you are going to have an engaged parishioner," he said. "It's very hard to get a person enageed on a parish based level if they don't have a personal relationship with God and are not on fire with that, but if you can get that fire set ablaze, then the rest tends to come naturally."
Stefanick agreed. He said the program is meant for transformation. He said it is based on a catechetical model that begins with questions about the meaning of existence, and life after death.
"If it's not transformative, it's not catechesis, right?"
Catechesis "moves them more deeply through the sacramental life of the faith and it moves them more deeply into the moral life. We are taking people step by step in these truths, that are laid out, to lead people step-by-step into relationship with Jesus Christ. It's all very intentional."
Stefanick said that in misguided attempts to be relevant, many catechetical programs water down the truth. But students need to be given the full truth and explained its relevance to their life and happiness, he said.
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"The human mind was made for these truths, when we deliver them in a way that brings them back to Jesus Christ, when we deliver each lesson in a way that answers the fundamental question - what are you looking for? It ties every teaching about the moral and sacramental life of the Church back to the happiness they are made for," he said.
"Then they start to see the faith as their path to fulfillment and their path to wholeness, that path to something more that every human wants out of life."