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Archive for December, 2011

Until I started working on this update, I didn’t realize I hadn’t written a summary for last week’s class. Sorry about that.

Last week, we started with a review of the liturgical year with the intention of concentrating on the season of Advent. As often happens, the discussion of the liturgical year opened up a ton of questions so we spent the entire class answering and discussing.

This week, Father John joined us at the beginning of class. He wanted to encourage the students to attend the parish Advent penance service next Tuesday (Dec 13) at 7 pm in the church. Naturally, the students had a bunch of questions for him. It was very obvious that, for most of the class, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not a concept with which they are familiar or comfortable. After Father John left to move on to the next class, we continued the discussion of Reconciliation. Not surprisingly, many of the students were very nervous or even scared about the idea of sitting down with someone (a priest) and talking about what they have done wrong. We emphasized several points.

The priest is bound to secrecy about whatever they discuss. Under no circumstances will they pick up the phone and call the parents or anyone else.

At their age, there is nothing they could possibly tell the priest that would surprise him.

The priest is simply an intermediary to God, and God already knows what you have done, so what’s the big secret?

We had our usual run of questions, many of which started with “What if…” When the “what if” scenarios started to get a little outrageous, we shut down the discussion of Reconciliation and moved on to the lesson of the day, the Sacrament of Confirmation.

We started by pointing out that we would be discussing Confirmation from several different angles.

  • Confirmation as a way of receiving, via the Holy Spirit, the strength to live as God wishes them to.
  • Confirmation as completing their initiation into the Church.
  • Confirmation as a commitment.

We read and discussed the events of the first Pentecost. We told them how the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and turned them from meek and terrified men into strong evangelists.  We compared this power to a sports team or an athlete who gets so psyched up and motivated that he or she can conquer a superior opponent. We compared the Sacrament of Confirmation to the first Pentecost. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, the grace of the Holy Spirit will give them the strength and determination to be faithful followers of Christ.

We talked about how their first step into the Church came with Baptism, and the second with the Eucharist.  The Sacrament of Confirmation rounds out the three sacraments of initiation and completes their membership into the Church.

It was our intention to further discuss Confirmation as the recipient’s commitment to fully join the Church and live their lives as Christians. We didn’t get to that. We’ll hit that when we finish with the Sacrament after the Christmas break.

This week (It’s now Monday, by the time I am finishing this.), the students should report to the Church for a Christmas program. Parents and siblings are also most welcome.

As you will note from the schedule, there will be no CCD class the following two weeks. We’ll be back on January 4.

Mrs. Rudolphi and I hope you and your family have a fantastic Christmas season. We’ll see everyone after the first of the year.

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