Dorothy Prindle put confirmation on hold for some 80 years. But in
October 2004, on Reformation Sunday, she confirmed her faith before her
pastor and peers—some of them using wheelchairs or walkers to steady
With that rite of confirmation, Prindle
became Lutheran—something she’d had a taste of during her teenage years
in New York City.
|"Lutheranism just suits my disposition," says
Dorothy Prindle, who confirmed her faith at age 93. "It's simple and
truthful." Her teacher, Becky Ebb-Speese, recalls: "On Ash Wednesday
when I put ashes on her forehead, Dorothy looked up at me and said,
'Oh, it's wonderful to have them as a Lutheran.'"|
Prindle confirmed her faith at Luther Village, Grand Rapids, Mich.,
after six months on the confirmation fast track with Becky Ebb-Speese,
an ELCA pastor and Luther Community chaplain.
“Dorothy wasn’t an average confirmation student,” says Ebb-Speese, the
new patron saint of understatements. “She wanted to know everything
about Martin Luther’s life, and even wanted to read all of the 95
And so they did. They used James Nestingen’s Martin Luther: A Life
(Augsburg Fortress, 2003), and then launched into Luther’s theses (and
catechism). Because Prindle’s eyesight is failing, Ebb-Speese read each
one aloud and discussion followed. Creative, cutting-edge confirmation
programs be gone. Luther would have been proud. Prindle was full of
observations and “What does this mean?” questions.
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