Archive for November, 2012

Before we get into anything else, I want to clarify the class schedule for the next several weeks. The original pre-season schedule has been changed, and the schedule posted in last weekend’s bulletin is wrong. Ugh.

Also, we have about 11 or 12 students participating in the Christmas pageant as narrators or shepherds. Several came up to me last night and said they want to be a part of the production, so parents may not know about it. Please see below for more details on this.

As best I can figure out, here is what the schedule looks like between now and Christmas.

 Dec 5 – All students report for CCD at 6:30 pm. The narrators and shepherds who are participating in the Christmas pageant will have a rehearsal. The rest of the class will have a regular class session.

Dec 12 – No regular CCD class, but the Christmas pageant narrators and shepherds will have a rehearsal and a pizza party. Everyone else has the night off.

Dec 19 – Christmas pageant in the church at 6:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. I think the children and parents should go straight to the church that evening. I’ll clarify that and let you know before then.

Dec 24 – The Christmas pageant will be a part of the 6 o’clock Christmas Eve Mass. We have three 5th grade narrators whose parents have indicated they can participate.

Also, there will be a single dress rehearsal for the children in the pageant on Saturday morning (exact time TBA) December 15.

Here is a list of the 5th grade students who have volunteered to be narrators for the Wednesday, Dec 19, pageant program. Please note the three children who have also indicated their availability for the Dec 24 program.

  • Danielle C (also Dec 24)
  • Brendan C
  • Caroline J
  • Jacob E
  • Elizabeth Anne C
  • Jake F (also Dec 24)
  • Autumn H
  • Madeline H (also Dec 24)
  • Hannah B

A couple of our class also volunteered to be shepherds. To be honest, it was a last minute “cattle call” and I’m not sure who is part of the shepherd gang and who is not. Please ask your child if he or she is a shepherd. If so, let me know if the schedule above presents a problem for you. Also, if the shepherds can be available for the Christmas Eve Mass, that would be great. If not, let me know so I can pass it on to the “director” Lynn Hogan.

Is that as clear as mud? Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. Contact info in the “About ” tab above.

Last night was spent getting the Christmas pageant crew organized. The eight or so students went to the church to watch. Eventually they got bored. So I took them around the church and pointed out some features like the stained class images and statues, and we went through the Stations of the Cross. One of our students, Carter, who  is an altar server, took the class behind the altar and showed the prep room.

As you can see above, our schedule between now and Christmas is going to be a little messy. We’ll have a regular class session for the students not involved in the Christmas pageant next week. However, our next major subject to cover is the Sacrament of Confirmation and I think we’ll hold off on that until after the Christmas break when we’ll have the entire class back together.

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We had originally planned on covering the first of two chapters on the Sacrament of Confirmation, but after thinking about it, we changed our minds. Since our class last week on Baptism was pretty-much a fiasco, we thought it important to take some time to reinforce some of the basic principles on Baptism.

We used the exercise at the end of the Baptism chapter. The students did several of the exercises (multiple choice, match question and answer, etc.) and then talked about them.

As expected, the students were very surprised to hear that, in the case of an emergency, anyone can perform a Baptism. We talked about the most common of those “emergency Baptisms,” that of a newborn baby who is not expected to live long. That prompted many questions about what happens if the baby dies without being baptized, is stillborn, etc. Our response is that we don’t really know, but we believe God is all loving and all merciful. We have trouble imagining God would not have mercy on an innocent baby.

We have six students who have volunteered to be readers at the Christmas program on December 19, the last class session before Christmas. One of those readers is also available for Christmas Eve 6 pm Mass. If you are the parent of any of our six readers, and it turns out you can attend the Dec 24 6 pm Mass, let me know. We can always add more students to the lineup.

We will have no class next week (November 21) since it is “Thanksgiving Eve.” We are back on November 28 with a lesson on Confirmation and a rehearsal for our Christmas readers.

Mrs. Rudolphi and I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

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The fifth grade CCD has been asked to provide readers for the CCD Christmas program, which will be presented during the regular CCD class time on December 19 and then AGAIN at the 6 pm Mass on Christmas Eve. We need to know which of our students will be available for one or both of those programs. We sent home a form on a red sheet of paper. We ask you to fill it out and return it with your child to next week’s class.  (There was also a white half-sheet given to some children. You don’t need to complete both forms. Just one will do.)

If your child did not receive a form, lost it or was not at class last night, you can just jot down the information on any sheet of paper or send me an email to savannahmike1130@gmail.com

Will your child be at class on December 19?

If  your child is selected to be a reader on Christmas Eve, can you arrange for him or her to be at the 6 pm Mass on December 24?

We will solicit volunteers. If a child doesn’t want to participate, that is OK. Depending on the number of volunteer-readers we get, we’ll assign them to one or both of the programs.

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We had a fairly wild class. We tried something different, and it really didn’t work very well. Lesson learned.

The subject was the Sacrament of Baptism. We skipped over the first of the two chapters in the text that deal with Baptism. So we started with some basic information. We talked about the three main effects of Baptism.

1. Provides a source of God’s love (grace.)

2. Wipes us free from sin. Short discussion on the concept of Original Sin.

3. Initiates us into the Church, God’s family, the Body of Christ.

We then divided the class into four groups and assigned each group one section of the next chapter (five) to read and prepare to teach to the rest of the class.

Group one focused on the differences between baptizing adults and older children versus infants. Also talked about preparation for Baptism and godparents.

Group two focused on the initial parts of the Baptism ceremony including Sacred Chrism, the Sign of the Cross and prayers.

Group three dealt mostly with the significance of water in the Sacrament.

Group four focused on the manner of applying the Holy Water (immersion vs sprinkling) and the significance of the white garment and candle.

We did this on a small scale a few weeks ago and it worked out fairly well. Unfortunately, last night it was very difficult to get most of the students to focus on the task. They were much more interested in chatting and joking with their friends, even if they were not part of their group. I take the “blame” for that. I should have seen it coming, but by time it was obvious it wasn’t working, there was not sufficient time in the class period to change course. We plowed on through to the finish. However, we are going to carefully think about it before we try this teaching technique again.

We finished up, as we have for the past several weeks, by asking each student what they learned that evening. Every child was able to cite some topic we had discussed with very little duplication among them. I realize asking a student to name just one thing they learned is not setting the bar very high. Nonetheless, it is rewarding to get that small piece of feedback.


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