Archive for November, 2010

Good class last night. The focus was the Apostle’s Creed. We prayed that for the opening prayer.

Our opening exercise was to have the students brainstorm about something they learned from their family, value and want to pass on to their children. About half the class got the idea and about half the class came up with answers like “my soccer skills,” or “a 1946 quarter.” Oh well. May be I wasn’t specific enough in the directions.

From there we talked about the Creed including:

  • Its relationship with the Nicene Creed we pray at Mass.
  • Its three-part structure (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
  • Its essence as a short summary of our beliefs as Christians/Catholics.
  • Its origin with the Apostles.

We finished off with the story of St Patrick, including St Patrick’s comparison of the Holy Trinity to the three-leafed shamrock.

We repeated the Apostles Creed and I asked the class to think about what it said as they prayed. .

I did get one question that I could not answer, regarding the line in the Creed, “…he descended into hell…” I have an email into Monsignor Costigan asking for an explanation of that line. I’ll let you know.

There is no class next week. We’re back the following week.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday, and you have much for which to give thanks.

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The subject matter for last night’s class was not the most compelling, but we had a pretty good session anyway.

The overall subject was Grace, which we described as God’s love. We compared it to parental love. (This is a reinforcement of the discussion we had on October 6.) The Sacraments are God’s way of conveying his Grace / Love to us. We talked about how a demonstration of parental love (a hug, a word of encouragement, etc) can provide motivation. Similarly, Grace / God’s love gives us the strength and motivation to live good lives, etc.

We read the story of St Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. We discussed how this was a vivid demonstration of receiving Grace. We talked about how God only rarely hits someone in such an unmistakable manner. Rather than shouting, God usually whispers, and it is we who must listen.

We lightly touched on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We didn’t spend much time on them. That is a sufficiently large subject that we could spend several class sessions on them, and we don’t have time for that.

We read the story of Sister (Saint) Katherine Drexel, a missionary to Native Americans and African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century.

We finished up with a “quiz bowl” reviewing some of the material we have covered to date.

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We had a change of plans last night. Before class, I was talking with Mrs. Cathy Scanlon, who was handling the seventh graders last night. She said she was taking them to the church and would be explaining the priest’s vestments, the vessels used at mass, etc. I asked if we could come along, and she agreed.

Mrs. Scanlon did an outstanding job. Much to my pleasure, our fifth graders were on good behavior. They actually seemed interested and engaged.

When we got back to the classroom, we had only about ten minutes remaining before parents began to arrive.

We did quick review of the symbols of Baptism and then called it a night.

See ya next week!

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