We’re hitting the home stretch of the CCD year. We will have no class next week (March 18) due to St Patrick’s Day week. We’ll be back March 25 with the CCD Penance Service. Please note – students’ families are most welcome to join this service. We will meet, as usual, in the classroom and walk over to the church as a group. If parents do not stay for the service, the students can be picked up in the gym at the school.
Last night’s class was a good one, but Mrs. Rudolphi and I can tell spring is in the air. The class was not ill-behaved. They were mostly engaged, but it took a little more work to keep them focused. They love the group or role-playing exercises but we didn’t have one in last night’s class None the less, we struggled onward.
Our focus was to finish the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance, Confession.) We picked up on last week’s lesson of forgiveness and the four elements of any forgiveness process, and connected them to the four key elements of Reconciliation.
- Admit the wrongdoing. / Confess sins.
- Feel and express regret or sorrow. / Act of Contrition
- Forgiveness / Absolution
- Some make-up or reparation / penance
Other key points of discussion were:
–We discussed our conscience and how we should know right from wrong. We included instruction from parents and teachers, the Commandments and experience.
–There is no sin so great that God will not forgive you, if you are sincerely sorry and ask for his forgiveness.
— You should receive the Sacrament at least once a year, but can do so at any time, and should do so frequently.
–We discussed private confessions vs a Penance Service and also the time and place of private confessions at St. Peter’s.
–Should you feel an urgent need for forgiveness, you can call a priest any time, 24/7.
–The priest is bound to secrecy about what is confessed.
–We discussed avoiding people, places and things that lead (tempt) you to commit a sin. They seemed to get this concept. Several students freely admitted they had friends who were “trouble.”
We sent them home with a “cheat sheet” to help them prepare for the Penance Service. It includes some Commandments-based questions to assist with their examination of their conscience and the Act of Contrition. We encouraged them to think about it over the next two weeks and bring the sheet with them to the Penance Service.,
I talked with Monsignor Costigan last night about coming to talk with the class about Holy Orders and the priesthood in general. He is available on April 15, so we will flip-flop our last two classes. We will have Monsignor on April 15, and then cover the Sacrament of Matrimony on April 29.
Regarding the class on Matrimony, this occasionally can run afoul of things that may have happened or are happening in a student’s home life. (divorce, separation, etc.) Mrs. R and I try to deal with this with sensitivity, especially since we don’t know what we may stir up. If you have any concern, please give me a call and let’s chat. In nine previous years of teaching 5th grade CCD, I have not had any complaints from parents. Of course, you are always most welcome to come and sit in on the class.
We will finish up the year with an instructional Baptism in the church on April 29. We did this several years ago and it worked out very well. We will cap that evening with some sort of little reception/refreshments to send the students out the door with good wishes.