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Archive for January, 2013

First off, my apologies for no update last week. I had work-related meetings in Atlanta that called me away. Mrs. Cathy Scanlon presented one of her programs, which I understand, went very well.

Last night, we were back in business. We finished off the second of our two chapters on the Sacrament of Confirmation. We got off to a rough, but somewhat amusing, start with our opening prayer. The prayer at the beginning of the chapter included a passage in Spanish that was intended to be sung. I am totally non-musical, so that was a non-starter. I thought we would just read it. I asked if any of our students spoke any Spanish, thinking they might be able to read it more easily than the rest of our English-speaking tongues. Two students claimed to speak a little Spanish. However, when it came time for them to read the passage, let’s just say they oversold their abilities. We stumbled through it and trusted that God would understand our hearts were in the right place.

We started with a quick review of our discussion of Pentecost from two weeks ago. We connected the effect of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to Confirmation in the modern day.

We discussed the specific parts of the Confirmation ceremony, including an emphasis on the Baptismal Promises. We pointed out that when people are baptized as infants, they don’t have any choice in the matter and that their godparents make the promises for them. As part of Confirmation, they have the opportunity to make those promises themselves. We broke into the groups and had the groups list and then share some of the key beliefs they hold as Catholics.

As we continued our discussion of the elements of Confirmation, we passed out sheets with three questions on them, and asked the class to read a section silently and to answer the questions on the sheets, which we then discussed.

We emphasized that Confirmation brings the candidates into full initiation in the Church and that from that point on, they are considered adults in the faith.

Finally, we talked about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord). Relating back to Pentecost, we pointed out how the Holy Spirit changed meek and terrified Apostles into bold and brave messengers of God’s word.

As usual, we ran out of time before we ran out of material. We continued our practice of ending class by asking each student to name one thing they learned that night. A cookie is the reward. Some students had to struggle with the question, but all eventually were able to name one thing. Small victories.

The the way, it has taken a while, but I think the class is finally starting to “click” a little with Mrs. Rudolphi and myself. While a good number of the students remain very active and “chatty”, they appear to be a little more engaged and comfortable working with us. Even some of the quieter students, who avoided attention and participation during the fall, are coming out of their comfort zones and participating in discussions. Mrs. Rudolphi continues to be a great “enforcer,” trying to keep a lid on the extraneous chatter, comments and note-passing while I focus more on the lesson.

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Hello, parents! Most of you received an email or a take-home note from me yesterday. I am trying to establish an email-list for communicating with you about schedule changes and other important information. If you did NOT receive either an email or a note, would you, please send me an email with your address, so I can add it to my list? My personal email is savannahmike1130@gmail.com.

One note — I will continue to use this blog/Web site to provide you with updates on the class activities. I plan to use the email list only for urgent announcements, like a class schedule change.

We had a good class last night, especially for it being the first class since the Christmas break. The focus of the class was the Pentecost and its significance as the earliest start of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

After reading an account of the event, we broke the class up into groups of 5 or 6 and had them role-play and act out the Pentecost. The students really got into it and did a good job. It was especially interesting to see how they represented the roaring wind and the flames.

We transitioned from Pentecost into an initial discussion of Confirmation, including…

  • The role of the Holy Spirit
  • That the sacrament is a milestone on becoming an adult in the eyes of the Church.
  • That most religions have some sort of ceremony for early teens where they “confirm” their desire to be a Catholic (or whatever) and transition into full membership in the Church.
  • The role of sponsors.
  • Why a candidate picks a Confirmation name.

In another effort to keep them involved, we again divided them into the same three groups and had them read a passage and select two questions from the material. They asked the rest of the class the questions and solicited answers. It went pretty well. Good questions, too. We’ll probably try that again in the future.

I will not be able to lead the class next week. Mrs. Rudolphi will be there. Mrs. Cathy Scanlon will present a program for the class, most likely in the church. However, deliver and pick up your child in the school, as usual.

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Just a reminder, if you’re double checking, there will be no CCD class tonight, January 2, 2013.  We’ll see all the kids next week; we hope.

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