CCD Schedule Update

Here is an update on the schedule for CCD for the rest of this year.

We will not have a regular class for the next two weeks (February 3 & 10) due to the parish mission and Ash Wednesday. However, we consider these two events a part of our CCD program. Please bring your child to the mission on Wednesday, Feb 3rd at 7 pm. We hope parents and siblings will stay also.  The mission should be over by 8 pm.

On the following week, Feb 10, Ash Wednesday Mass will be celebrated at 7 pm. Again, we hope our students will attend with their family.

Here is the tentative line-up of topics for the remainder of the year.

Feb 17 – Ten Commandments 1

Feb 24 – Ten Commandments 2

March 2 – Forgiveness (Ch 15)

March 9 – Penance (Ch 16)

March 16 – No Class

March 23 – Anointing of the Sick (Ch 18)

March 30 – Matrimony (Ch 24)

April 6 – Holy Orders (Ch 25)

April 13 – Prayer (Ch 12)

April 20 – Overflow date

April 27 – Last Class

As you can see, we are fairly well booked. Frankly, the second half of the year has some of the more interesting and engaging lessons. As always, parents are most welcome to sit in. I have one date open (April 20). I expect something will occur to shift the schedule to occupy that date. I’m not worried. We may have a CCD Penance Service that may fill one of the earlier dates and cause everything else to shift down. That is still up in the air as of this writing.

My apologies for the long gap in updates. I was unable to teach the first two classes in January due to a work-related travel and a family crisis. I was back last week to finish up our coverage of the Sacrament of Confirmation (Chapter 9).

We opened by reviewing the story of the Pentecost which Mrs. Rudolphi covered in the previous weeks. Not everyone was in attendance for those lessons, so it was worth repeating the story and the effect the Holy Spirit had on the apostles. We connected that story to Confirmation.

Before going any further, we asked one key question, “So, just who is the Holy Spirit?” As expected, there was some confusion. The simple, one-word answer is “God.”

We followed the chapter in the text, mixing up volunteers reading, and pairs reading together and extracting the answers to some questions from the text, which we then discussed. The last part of the lesson dealt with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.) We discussed each one and had the class complete a match-game exercise linking each gift to a description of it.

We will not have a regular class for the next two weeks due to the parish mission and Ash Wednesday. We will be back February 17 with the first of two classes on the Ten Commandments. This is always a fun and interesting subject to teach. I am looking forward to it.

Hello, parents!

Our practice sessions for the Christmas pageant have gone extremely well. You should be very proud of your children. “Showtime” is tomorrow evening, Wednesday, December 16. Please deliver your children to the church by 6 pm.

If for some reason you are running late, please give me a call on my cell 484-2622. If we know someone is definitely going to be there, even if a little late, we won’t scramble around to cover the position. Nothing causes more anxiety with the children (not to mention the teachers) than last-minute changes.

Thank you very much!


We started our practices for the Christmas pageant last night. We had nine students, six of whom want to participate as readers and three who asked for other, non-speaking, roles. We have a total of nine or ten speaking assignments. Three students were absent last night, so there is still room to fit them into the program.

The children did a very good job. We ran through the program three times and they improved with each repetition. Some kids were initially nervous, but I think our coaching helped with that.

Our next practice will be during the regular CCD class session next week. You can deliver your child to the church. We will also have someone in the classroom to collect anyone who goes there, and they will bring them over to the church. Since many of our students have siblings who also need to be picked-up after class, I think we’ll just walk the class back to the school after practice.

Here are key dates:

Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 pm – Practice during regular CCD time slot.

Saturday, December 12, 10:00-11:30 am – Dress rehearsal in the churck

Wednesday, December 16 – Pageant Program. Please deliver your child to the church by 6:00 pm!!! This is a half-hour early, but we will need the time to get everyone organized.

We would really appreciate it if parents would make a special effort to have their child attend the next two practices and the performance on Dec 16. We know things come up, children get sick and so on, but they will benefit from each practice. If something comes up, please let us know, ESPECIALLY for the live performance. We can work with you and your child with almost anything, if we know what’s going on. If your child gets sick or there is some emergency so that he or she will not be able to participate in the live performance, please let us know as soon as you can. In that event, we will need to shuffle things around, and we really don’t want to throw a last minute curve ball at one of the other students.

Thank you for your support.


Christmas Pageant

I would like to bring you up to speed on a couple of things. This post duplicates an email you should have received or will receive shortly.

First – No class next week, November 25, the night before Thanksgiving. That should be obvious, but just making sure everyone knows.

Second – The fifth grade class will be working with the third grade class (Mrs. Lynne Hogan) on the Christmas Pageant. The third grade provides the family, the sheep, the shepherds, etc. Our fifth graders will provide the readers. I would like to know by the next class (December 2) which of our students would like to be a reader. This is not mandatory. Any of the students who do not wish to read will be assigned to the “cast” as shepherds, or what-not.

The reading passages are both easy and fairly short, usually only 3-4 sentences. There are enough passages in the script that there is room for everyone in the class to have a role. If some students do not wish to read, I can consolidate or double-up the passages.

I will provide the students with their assigned passage during the next class. They would have plenty of time to prep it. I mention this because even students who are not strong readers can still participate and shine. We had one student several years ago who really wanted to be a part of the pageant, but was not a strong reader. She took her passage home and worked on it over and over until she had it memorized.  She did great and her family, and Mrs. Rudolphi and I were enormously happy for her.

This year, the pageant will be presented only once, in the church, during the regular CCD class time on December 16. Since we are not able to present at the Christmas Eve Children’s Mass, we are going to try to make the December 16 program a “parish event.”

We will rehearse during the regular CCD class time on December 2 & 9. We will have a final dress rehearsal on Saturday morning, December 12. I don’t have a time for that yet; it will probably be something like 9:30-11:00 am. I will let you know the exact time frame when I get it.

Several of our students have special circumstances. I don’t know of anything that would prevent them from participating if they wish.  Mrs. Rudolphi and I are pretty good “coaches” and will work with all the children to put them into a position where they can succeed.

Bottom line – Please talk with your child; see if they would like a “speaking role”; and let me know via email or phone by the next class.

Thank you in advance for your help.


(912) 598-2325 – office/day

(912) 484-2622 – cell/evenings-weekends

On Wednesday night, we completed our coverage of the Eucharist by focusing our efforts on the order of the Mass.

We began by re-emphasizing two important concepts from our last class two weeks ago. The first, and most important, is that Jesus Christ is truly present in for form of the bread and wine. The consecrated host and wine are not merely symbolic of Jesus, but he is actually present. The official term is “Real Presence.” We pointed to several symbols in the room, a crucifix, a flag and a statue of Mary, and talked about how these are not really Jesus, our country or the Blessed Mother. They are just symbols to remind us of them. However, when we participate in Holy Communion, we are actually bringing Jesus into us. The second concept is simply that the Mass and the Eucharist are synonymous. The entire purpose of the Mass is the Eucharist. One does not exist without the other.

In our last class, we explained that the first Eucharist was at the Last Supper, which was a traditional Jewish Seder meal. We continued the analogy of the Mass as a meal by comparing it to visiting another family for dinner — except, we are visiting God in his house. Typically, we would:

Greet the host and exchange pleasantries – Introductory Rites

Chat and visit – Liturgy of the Word

Bring a dish, bottle of wine, etc  — Offertory and Presentation of the Gifts

Help prepare the meal – Preparation of the Eucharist

Eat dinner – The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Say Good bye – Concluding Rites

We passed out a single-page outline of the Mass the students could take with them to Mass on Sunday to help them follow along.

We had volunteers read portions of the text dealing with Introductory Rites and the Liturgy of the Word. We then asked the students to pair-up with a partner and to read the page and a half of the text that covered the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We handed out a sheet with five questions, the answers for which could be found in the text. (basically one question for each paragraph) We asked them to work together to read the pages and to find the answers to the questions. When they were done, we discussed their answers.

As our final exercise, we distributed missalettes from the church and demonstrated how they could use one to follow what was happening during Mass.

And finally, as we usually do, we went around and asked each student what they learned that night. We handed out a colored-ink pen as a reward for an answer. Somewhat surprisingly, after all we had covered in the past hour, we had a little trouble extracting an answer from some students. But in the end, we got at least something out of each student and all went home with a new pen.


We will NOT have CCD class next Wednesday, November 11. The Confirmation Mass will be celebrated in the church that evening.  We’ll be back on November 18 for one class before the Thanksgiving break.


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