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Archive for October, 2015

We had a very small turnout last week, only six students.

e dove into our lesson on the Sacrament of Baptism. We started with a discussion on some of the key elements of the Sacrament. Mostly this was just me talking with the class, which I prefer not to do, but we had some key points to cover. In the text, Baptism is covered in two chapters. We jumped straight to the second chapter, so we had some back filling to do.

We began with a discussion of the three purposes of Baptism.

1.) To join us with God

2.) To bring us into the Church

3.) To wipe our souls clean or original and any other sins

We pointed out that usually a Baptism is administered by a priest or deacon, but in the event of an emergency, anyone can perform a Baptism. We mentioned that this is very unusual, and most often occurs in the case of a newborn infant that is not expected to live long enough for a priest to get to the hospital.

We then divided the class into two groups (3 boys and 3 girls — their choice.) We asked each group word together to read and understand one of the first two sections of the chapter. (Each chapter is divided into four one-page sections.) Then they should teach what they learned to the rest of the class. We provide them with a sheet of questions to be found in the text that highlight the key points they should be prepared to cover. When it was all said and done, we only had time for the girls to make their presentation. They did OK. This was the first time we have attempted this with this class, so it was about what I expected.

This week, we plan to do the same with the group of boys who did not present last week, and also add on the second half of the chapter. We will give each group the opportunity to role-play and actually act out a Baptism, complete with water, oil, candle and white garment. We did this last year, and it actually worked out fairly well. So, hopefully, Wednesday’s class will be interesting.

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My apologies for such a late posting. Life has been very busy. But I thought I should get something posted before tonight’s class makes it obsolete.

We started off with a review of the Sept 30 class which began our shallow overview of the Sacraments, with a focus on the Sacraments of Initiation. I would like to tell you the students absorbed and recalled everything we had discussed, but that was not he case. So on October 13, we picked up where we left off and covered the  Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick) and the Sacraments of Service (Matrimony and Holy Orders.) We asked them to work with a partner to read the text passages on these sets of Sacraments and to underline some key concepts. We discussed it. The students then completed a part of the chapter-end exercise, which we then discussed also.

Tonight we will cover Baptism which may take two weeks. We’ll see how it goes.

 

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Hello, parents!

Thank you for “tuning in.” I had no report on last week’s class, because I was travelling. Mrs. Rudolphi took the class and reported it went well.

Last night, we began our overview of the Sacraments. (Chapter 3 in the text for anyone following along at home.) As I mentioned in our initial get-acquainted session a couple of weeks ago, we are going to try to reinforce memorization of some of the essential Catholic prayers. We begin with the Hail Mary. We prayed it at both the beginning and end of class. It would be great if you would help support this at  home in the form of bedtime prayers or what-not.

After our opening prayer, we handed out a worksheet that contained a chart with two columns, labeled “Sacraments I have already received” and “Sacraments I expect to receive.” We asked them to refer to the list of the Sacraments in the text and to list their personal experience appropriately. We then talked about it. (We had one priest, one married person and several who believed they have already been confirmed.)

Then we broke the class into pairs and small groups and asked them to read page 36 and work together to find the answers to three questions, also on the work sheet.

–What are some of the signs of God’s love in the world? (Vary’s by student.)

–What is the greatest gift of God’s love? (Jesus Christ)

–What is sanctifying grace? (See below.)

In our subsequent discussion, it took a little bit of talking to get the students to recognize the existence of God’s love in the world around them. After one student mentioned she had a pony, most of the rest of the class focused their thoughts on pets. We discussed it a little to get them to expand their perspective.

Most of the students were unfamiliar with the concept of “grace” or “sanctifying grace.” We defined it as simply God’s love. When we talk about “grace”, we are just referring to God’s love. To link it to the Sacraments, we compared God’s love to a parent’s love of their child. All the students agreed that they felt their parents’ love for them when they got a hug or kiss. We discussed other ways that they could feel their parents’ love, including fixing them meals, taking care of them in general, and so on. We described the Sacraments as God’s way of conveying his love to his people. Like a parent conveys their love with a hug and kiss, God conveys his love through the Sacraments. I think they “got it!” Score one for the home team.

We discussed that the Church has divided the Sacraments into three general categories:

–Sacraments of Initiation

–Sacraments of Healing

–Sacraments of Service

And we extracted a listing of each category from discussion with the students.

We had volunteers read the short summary of the Sacraments of Initiation. This introduced two concepts.

–Christian Initiation is the process of becoming a member of the Church. In Baptism, we initially join the Church. In Confirmation, we reinforce that membership. And in the Eucharist, we maintain and strengthen our membership.

–As Catholics we are called to a “common vocation” to holiness and evangelization. We discussed that as Catholics, we are called to live our lives the way Jesus taught, following the teachings of the Church, loving our fellow mankind, etc.  We asked them to brainstorm a little and think of some way they would respond to God’s love tomorrow. We had some good answers, but most involved saying a prayer. We discussed the concept and explored other examples.

Although, we had only covered half the chapter, that pretty much finished us up for the night. As will be our usual practice, we went around the room and asked each student to tell us something they learned that night. All were successful, and were rewarded with a cookie.

I will not be available to teach next week’s class. (After that, my schedule should settle down, and I should be able to be there nearly all of not all the classes.) Mrs. Rudolphi will take the lead again. The class will have a “field trip” to the church with the third grade class. Third grade teacher Mrs. Hogan will take the two classes on a “tour” and tell them about the stories behind the stained glass windows. Should be interesting. I wish I could be there  myself.  Please meet in the classroom as usual. If there is a change in the pick-up plan, we’ll let you know before next Wednesday.

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