Archive for October, 2017

Good class last night. It wasn’t as energetic as I had hoped, but the students were behaved and engaged. They really respond well to activities that involve some thought and expression, like having them role play an activity or having them master a concept and turn around and teach it to the rest of the class. I need to try to work more techniques like that into the lessons.

As the students arrived, we asked them to complete a word scramble puzzle in the text. The puzzle covered some of the key concepts we addressed last week, like:

  • Christian Initiation
  • Sanctifying Grace
  • Holiness
  • Sacrament
  • Common Vocation

We continue to emphasize memorization of the key prayers. Our opening prayer was the Our Father.

Following the opening prayer, we discussed the word scramble and them moved on to approach some of the same concepts with a different activity. We asked the students to team up with one or two other partners and work together to answer three questions on a hand-out sheet. There is some repetition here, but we are trying to drive home some important points. The questions addressed grace, the Sacraments of Initiation and our common vocation. We then discussed the concepts. I think words like “sanctifying” and “vocation” were confusing them a little. We discussed grace as simply being God’s love for us and transmitted to us through the sacraments.

We moved on to the Sacraments of Healing. The students read the passage in the text and jotted down or underlined words that helped them understand the concept of healing. These were words like “heal,” “forgave” and “reconciled.” And again, we discussed their answers.

We had volunteers read the text section on the Sacraments of Service of Communion. The class pretty much understood matrimony, but were less clear about Holy Orders, especially the relationship between bishops, priests and deacons. We explained and discussed.

We showed a short video of a nun doing a very good job explaining the meaning and purpose of the Sacraments.

We finished up with the chapter review quiz. We asked the class to just complete a word-definition match exercise. There were four words and five definitions, so there was one definition left over. Some of the students didn’t that that was fair. Too bad. We discussed the results and also a few true-false questions.

And as always, we ended by asking each student to cite something they leared during the class and rewarded their answer with a cookie.

Next Wednesday is the All Saints Day which is a Holy Day of Obligation. We will not have a regular class. We ask that parents bring their child(ren) to Mass. Evening Mass is at 7 pm.

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We had a really good class last night. Mrs. Rudolphi and I are liking these kids more and more every week. They are bright, attentive, cooperative and engaged.

As the students arrived, we had them complete a crossword puzzle with answers from last week’s lesson. We had one somewhat funny coincidence. The answer for one of the words was to be “blessedtrinity.” One student answered “theholytrinity.” Not only is it the same thing, but the letter-count is the same, and the third letter is a “cross letter” and it is an “e” in each answer. We all got a chuckle out of that.

We continue to work on reinforcing their knowledge of the basic prayers. They had the Hail Mary down pat, so we moved on to the Lord’s Prayer.

The rest of the evening was spent on Chapter 3, which is a broad-brush overview of the Sacraments. We started by handing out a work sheet with two columns, labeled…

Sacraments I have received

Sacraments I expect to receive at some time

We asked them to fill in the boxes based on their own experience. We used this as a springboard to explain each Sacrament. Most were not familiar with Holy Orders or Anointing of the Sick. It led to a good Q & A discussion. Many did not understand that it IS possible for someone to receive all seven Sacraments. And much to their surprise, there are actually a few married Catholic priests with families.

We divided the class into pairs and threes and asked them to read P 36 together and to answer three questions which they would find the answers in the text.

What are some of the signs of God’s love in the world? (Many good answers)

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

What is sanctifying grace?

This led to a good discussion of grace. Most had just a scant understanding, and the definition in the book didn’t help much. We explained grace as simply being God’s love for them. To bring it to life, we asked if there were times that they felt their parents love more than others. Many good answers, like hugs, comforting moments, and so on. We used this concept to explain that the Sacraments are God’s way of transmitting his love to us, just like a parent transmits his or her love through a hug or a kiss.

We showed the class that the Sacraments are divided into three categories.

Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)

Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation, Annointing of the Sick)

Sacraments of Service of Communion (Holy Orders, Matrimony)

It was a good discussion and they seemed to grasp the concepts.

We had volunteer read aloud from text and covered the concepts of Christian initiation (process of becoming a member of the Church) and a Common Vocation (a call for all Christians to live good and holy lives and to be witnesses of the faith.)

That got us only about half way through the chapter. Next week we will finish off.

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I am sorry for the very late posting for these first two classes of the year. Life has been very busy.

We discussed Jesus’s baptism and the role of John the Baptist.

We discussed the Holy Trinity. We explained that as mere humans, we cannot understand the concept of three persons in one God, but we gave a couple of examples to help draw the students close.

On Oct 11, we took two pages from chapter 1 and divided it up into four sections. We asked the students to pair-up with a partner and assigned each team one section to read, understand and to teach back to the rest of the class. Somewhat to our surprise, it actually went very well. They students really got into the exercise and exhibited energy and creativity. Yea!

We finished with the end-of-chapter quiz and discussed the questions and answers. And as we do in every class, we ask each student to tell us something they learned that evening. They are rewarded with a cookie for being able to do so.

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