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Archive for May, 2010

See ya in September!

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We had our last real CCD class last night. I’d like to tell you we ended on a high note, but I would be less than truthful.

I was a little nervous about this lesson because it stuck its toe into the water of sexuality. The lesson started out with a discussion of love in its various forms, including a reading from 1 Corinthians 13 (“Love is kind…” etc) However, about half-way through the chapter, the text included a two-paragraph section on sexuality.

After addressing the importance of respecting their own bodies, as well as the bodies of others, it included sentences such as these.

“As we grow towards sexual maturity, we are to follow the example of Christ and practice chasity.”

“Chasity is a virtue that helps us express our sexuality in ways that are proper for our time in life.”

“…we do not engage in sex before marriage.”

I expected a slew of questions, most of which I wouldn’t want to answer without parents around, however I really didn’t get many. This was a subject the students really did NOT want to discuss.

I admitted that I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach the subject, because I wasn’t certain how much the students had already learned. They assured me that they already “knew it all.”

One student raised his hand and announced, “At my school, we already watched the puberty video.” I guess that covers it.

I talked about the importance of having good communication with their parents, as they will have lots of questions and issues in the coming years. One girl told me that she would never talk to her parents about something like that. “I’ll just get my answers from Google. That way I’ll know I’m getting straight answers.” Yikes! (Oh, yes. We did discuss this.)

Finally, I ran up the white flag and surrendered, when one student asked, “Can we please talk about something else now?” and the entire class agreed. I didn’t argue.

Next week will be the final class for the year. We will not attempt to teach a lesson. It will be mostly social. Parents are invited.

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We had a good, if not all that great, class session last night. I think the long “CCD season” is starting to wear on everyone.

The main topics for last night’s class were the two sacraments of service, Holy Orders and Matrimony.  Among the topics of discussion were:

  • How each sacrament involves service.
  • How each sacrament also requires commitment from the recipients.
  • The concept of commitment
  • The difference between breaking a commitment because you simply didn’t try hard enough, or were presented with circumstances that made it impossible to keep your commitment.
  • How the Church is very serious about the institutions of the priesthood and marriage, and how it makes it relatively difficult to get into or out of either one.
  • The two sides of matrimony, the legal side and the spiritual/religious/church side.

We have one full class session left, next week on May 12. For the absolute final class on May 19, we’ll do something special, but I’m not sure just what yet.

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We had another pretty good class session this week. The concepts of sin and guilt seem to resonate with the class.

We started with the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee praying in the temple. The Pharisee was arrogant while the tax collector was humble. We talked about the importance of praying with humility and why was probably not happy with the boastful prayers of the Pharisee.

We read the story of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was thrown into a concentration camp during World War II for helping hide Jews from the Nazis. When the war was over, she contacted the person who turned her in and told him that she had forgiven him.

We did a “fill in the blanks” exercise to the Confiteor prayer (“I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters…”) We used the line “…and in what I have failed to do…” to broach the concept of sin through inaction. We discussed that as Catholics they have obligations, mostly stemming from the two great commandments:

1. Love God.

2. Love your neighbor.

We discussed that up until now in their life, they have had the luxury of being fairly self-centered, but they are now old enough to be required to think of others to a greater extent.

We finished off with a mini-reconciliation service that included a reading of God’s commandments from Exodus 20 and praying the Act of Contrition.

As we were adjourning, Mrs. Donnelly stopped by with Kieran, the baby “we” baptized earlier in the year. All Kieran’s “honorary Godparents” got a kick out of it, and Kieran seemed to love the attention.

We are entering the home stretch. This week we will cover the Sacraments of Service, Matrimony and Holy Orders. This is always prompts some interesting discussion.  See ya on Wednesday!

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