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Sorry for the late posting. Life has been pretty busy for the past few days.
We had a good class Wednesday evening. Mrs. Rudolphi and I had our new photo sheets, so we at least knew the students’ names. It will still be several weeks before we really get a feel for the class and the students for us. As first glance, though, this looks like a good group.

As we did last week, we started instruction with the opening prayer. We emphasize the proper way to pray the Sign of the Cross. Many students are inclined to simply wave their hand in the general direction of their head and shoulders. We are teaching them that the Sign is a prayer and they should recite it slowly, with their hand touching their forehead, navel, left and right shoulders.

The first part of the lesson dealt with John the Baptist, Jesus’s baptism and the mystery of the Holy Trinity. We talked about John’s role as the precursor to Jesus. We also pointed out that this scene in the Bible that all three persons of the Trinity appear at the same time. (Jesus, the Holy Spirit as a dove, and the Father as a voice from the clouds)

This lead us to a discussion of what exactly is the Holy Trinity, specifically, how there can be one God, but three persons. We were discussing this and I was about to try to explain it when Monsignor Costigan and Paula Hubert walked in. Monsignor was on a recruiting mission for altar servers. I offered him the opportunity to explain the mystery. He declined but said he was interested in hearing my explanation. Gee, no pressure there. Explain the mystery of the Trinity to a group of fifth graders with the pastor listening and grading. I told the class that it wasn’t possible for us as humans to fully understand this mystery of God, but there are several explanations that might come close. I picked out two students and asked them about the various roles they have in life (brother, student, daughter, sister, athlete, friend, cousin, etc.) They are a single human being, but they have different sides to them depending on the role they are in at any moment. To the same extent, the three persons of the Trinity can be thought of as the different roles of God. The Father is the creator; the son is the savior or Messiah; and the Holy Spirit is the side of God who is with us every day and extends God’s love. It may not be the best explanation, but the class seemed satisfied, and so was Monsignor. Whew!

Our next section dealt with the various ways Jesus shows us God’s love. We passed out a sheet with four questions. We asked the students to read the page silently and find the answers to the questions in the text. Some of the various examples involved Jesus feeding people and curing a blind beggar. We also noted the way Jesus treated sinners. He did not shun them; he welcomed them and forgave them.
Our next section was to deal with the way Jesus invites people to follow him. We broke the class up into four groups of four students. We assigned each group a piece of the chapter. We asked them to read their section and then prepare to teach it to the rest of the class. We ran out of time before they had a chance to present their mini-lesson. We’ll tackle that first thing on Wednesday.

We finished, as we will every week, but going around the room and asking each student what they learned that evening. It took a little “teeth pulling,” but everyone was able to cite something. They were rewarded with a cookie.

The year at a glance

This will definitely change at least once. It always does. But here is a tentative schedule of lessons for the year.

Please note: On this schedule, I have Ash Wednesday, Feb 18, listed as “no class.” We usually ask all the families to bring their children to the Ash Wednesday service at the church in lieu of a regular CCD class. However, as it stands right now, the “official” CCD calendar shows that date as a regular class session. I think the official calendar will change between now and then.

Sep 24 – Get organized
Oct 1 – Chapter 1 Jesus shares God’s life
Oct 8 – Ch 3 The Sacraments
Oct 15 – Ch 4 Baptism 1
Oct 22 – Ch 5 Baptism 2
Oct 29 – Ch 10 Eucharist 1
Nov 5 – Ch 11 Eucharist 2
Nov 12 – Ch 6-7 Liturgical Year & Advent
Nov 19 – Advent Program
Nov 26 – No class
Dec 3 – Pageant practice
Dec 10 – Pageant Practice
Dec 17 – Pageant Program
Dec 24, 31, Jan 7 – No class
Jan 14 – Ch 8 Confirmation 1
Jan 21 – Ch 9 Confirmation 2
Jan 28 – Commandments 1
Feb 4 – Commandments 2
Feb 11 – Ch 20-21 Lent & Triduum
Feb 18 – Ash Wednesday
Feb 25 – Ch 15 Healing
March 4 –Ch 16 Reconciliation
March 11 – Ch 18 Anointing of the Sick
March 18 – No class
March 25 – Ch 12 Prayer
April 1 – Ch 24 Matrimony
April 8 – No class
April 15 – 25 Holy orders
April 22 – Unassigned
April 29 – Last Class

 

There is not much to report from last night’s CCD class. We knew we would have to spend a fair amount of time simply getting organized, so there would not be enough time to teach a full lesson. We had several new students, which puts our class size at 19. Also, one of our students brought a friend. That is a good size. We have had classes as large as 27 and as small as 13.

We took head-shot pictures of the students. We will use this to create a photo-sheet to help Mrs. Rudolphi and I connect names and faces more quickly. We will make an occasional slip-up, but we should be able to recognize most of the students and know their names by next week.

We introduced ourselves and went over our plans for the year and the class rules.

We then passed out a short “quiz” regarding the sacraments and commandments. We just wanted to see what the class knows already. It was a mixed bag. We discussed the quiz when they were complete. Next week, we will start with a full lesson.

Stay tuned for weekly updates, and feel free to come join the class anytime you want.

Off to a good start!

It was great to see everyone Wednesday evening. I’m sure there will be some additional students, but as of last night, we had 11 students — 4 boys and 7 girls. It’s interesting; six of our 11 students are the younger siblings of students we taught in past years. Welcome back, parents!

Thanks to all the parents to provided their contact information. I won’t deluge you with emails, but it’s good to have a solid channel of communications for schedule changes, etc.

The schedule for the year is under the labeled tab at the top of this page. If you picked up one of the schedules I had last night, please remember that it was inadvertently cut off about 6 weeks early.

If you read the hand-out from last night, the rest of this post will be repetitious. If not…

The 5th grade curriculum will focus on the liturgy and the sacraments. While we have some material to cover, including some memorization, we also hope to make the short time we will spend together rewarding and enjoyable for your child.

It has been our experience that, when they get going, 5th graders and full of interesting questions. If it has anything remotely related to God, the Church, religion, or living, we will talk about it.

Please understand I will have your child for less than an hour just once a week. You can do several things to help us make this a productive experience for your son or daughter.

• Ask your child if we have given them a task to do during the week and assist them with it.

• Please have your child to the school before 6:30 p.m.

• Please support us and encourage your child to come to CCD class willingly and with enthusiasm.

As we will be covering the sacraments, including matrimony and anointing of the sick, our class discussion may come in close contact to real-life events in your child’s life (death in the family, divorce, etc.) If there is something I should know in order to be appropriately sensitive, please tell me.

We have only three class-rules, and we hope you will help us reinforce these to your children.

1. Show up.

2. Participate

3. Don’t be a “jerk.”

(You might be surprised how well 5th graders understand Rule #3. It almost never requires any further explanation.)

You are most welcome to sit-in on the class at any time.

I hope you will stay abreast of what’s happening with your child on Wednesday evenings. To help you do so (and for the fifth year), I have created a blog/Web site. I will try to keep it updated on a weekly basis with reports on the class activity and announcements.

http://stpeterccdgrade5.wordpress.com/

The full rundown of last year’s class is here on the site, so if you would like to get an idea of what is ahead, you can look backwards and see.

Once again, the fifth grade class will be teaming up with the third grade to present the Christmas pageant. If things go according to plan, the pageant will be presented twice – once during the regular CCD class time (Dec 17) and once at one of the Christmas Eve masses. When the dates draw closer, I’ll keep you apprised of scheduling. The biggest issue will be to coordinate the Christmas Eve reader-team with your family plans.

If you have not already done so, please provide me with your email address. We have learned through experience that trying to communicate with parents through the filter of a 10 or 11 year-old just doesn’t work. I will use the blog to communicate routine information. I’ll only use the email to notify you of things like schedule changes and the like.

As we have done for the past several years, we ask that you come to the classroom to pick up your child at 7:30 p.m. Please do not instruct your child to leave the building on his or her own and meet you in the parking lot. If you have a situation that makes it difficult for you to come into the building, like a sleeping baby, just let us know. One of us will walk your child(ren) to your car.

Feel free to contact Mrs. Rudolphi or myself for any reason.

Mike Sullivan
Office: 598-2325
Cell: 484-2622
savannahmike1130 at gmail.com

Shelly Rudolphi
Home: 897-9335
Shelly.rudolphi at att.net

Once again, apologies for the late posting. Life (and work) keeps getting in the way.

Tonight (April 30) will be our last CCD class of this academic year. It has been a very good year from Mrs. Rudolphi’s and my viewpoint. This has been a very good class of students. We really have enjoyed them, even those who can’t seem to keep from falling out of their desks.

Last week, we planned to cover the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Monsignor Costigan accepted my invitation to visit with share his viewpoint and some of his experiences. As it turns out, the class had a lot of questions and his presentation took up the entire class period. I found it very interesting, and I hope the students did also.

For our last class tonight, Mrs. Rudolphi and I will try to do something special. We hope to see the entire gang there for one last hurrah.

We are approaching the finish line. Only two more classes left in the CCD year.

 

Last night, we covered Holy Week, especially the Eastern Triduum and Easter. We started by asking the students to name some ways they show they express love to someone, and then said we would be talking about how Jesus expressed his love for all of us.

 

We began by having the students both read aloud and silently some material in the text covering Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

 

–We talked about the meaning of the term “Paschal Mystery.”

 

–We discussed why the resurrection is the center of the Christian faith.

 

–We compared the Mass on Holy Thursday to the Last Supper, which is essentially the basis of our modern Mass.

 

–We talked about the practice of washing feet, in Biblical times and now on Good Friday.

 

–We discussed why the cross is the central image of Christ’s suffering and death.

 

–We talked about the veneration of the cross ceremony on Good Friday evening.

 

–We indicated that Holy Saturday is usually a quiet day, leading up to the celebration of the resurrection at the Easter Vigil Mass.

 

We transitioned to an entirely different chapter in the text to discuss Easter.

 

–We compared the feeling of Lent of sacrifice and penance, culminating with the remembrance of Jesus’s death and burial to that of Easter, a joyous celebration.

 

–We had three volunteers role-play a dialogue from the text describing the scene on the first Easter morning when Mary Magdalene and others went to Jesus’s tomb only to find an angel waiting for them.

 

–We discussed the signs of Easter, like white and gold vestments, Alleluias, and the readings from the Acts of the Apostles.

 

–We also talked a little about how Jesus appeared to many people during the next 40 days.

As always, we finished by asking each student to name one thing they learned in that class, and rewarded all reasonable answers with a cookie. Last night, that process went exceptionally well.

 

Next week we will cover Holy Orders. Our final class will be April 30. We will do something special, but I’m not sure just what yet. I have two weeks to think about it.

The older group of CCD students will present a “Living Stations of the Cross” this Friday night at 8 pm. That is just about the time the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry will be ending. The program should last between 30-45 minutes, so it’s not an all-night commitment.

In past years, this has been a fairly moving program. I recommend it. (Full disclosure — I am one of the readers this year.)

Seriously, I think your family would enjoy this. Please give a thought to attending. Bring your family to the fish fry and stick around for the stations.

Thanks.

 

 

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