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Posts Tagged ‘saints’

We had another good class Wednesday evening. Continuing our three-part format, we started with the weekly Faith Assessment, which was the Apostles’ Creed. We had the students fill out a fill-in-the-blank quiz and just about everyone did very well. We then discussed the creed, its meaning and history, comparing it to the Nicene Creed we recite at Mass.

We walked across the hall to the library where we watched a Chris Stephanik video about more saints.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwp_1TYBiAI

Returning the class, we talked a little more about picking a saint’s name for Confirmation. Some students have already picked a name, at least for now, and we talked about some of their choices.

We phased into short lesson on Confirmation and the Holy Spirit. We broke the class into groups of two or three students and asked them to think of things that represent the Holy Spirit. We sent them to the white board to draw their ideas. Some interesting ideas, and interesting representations. (dove, flame, wind, cross)

Next week our Faith Assessment is on the Beatitudes. At this point, we are thinking about making that the focus of the entire class. As I mentioned in my email earlier this week, it would be great if the students were familiar with the Beatitudes before coming to class. They can be found Matthew 5:3-10.

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Again, sorry for taking so long to get this written and posted. It’s just been a busy week.

We kicked off the 6th grade CCD year with a good class last week. We have a small group right now, only six students, but I believe we will pick up an additional handful in the coming weeks.

Getting things started has been an interesting experience. Unlike our past 11 years of teaching 5th grade, our curriculum is not dictated or guided by the Sadlier (publishing company) text. Because 8th grade Confirmation takes place so early in the year at St. Peters, we will be starting initial Confirmation training. That also means we are feeling our way a little. For at least the first part of the year, we will be focusing our teaching in three main areas.

1.) Faith Assessment – This is a review of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and the kinds of information each student should know before Confirmation. We will be taking it one bite at a time.  So each week, we will send home with each student a “quiz” or questionnaire. They should research the answers to the questions and return it the following week when we will discuss the material. For your information, the questions and answers can be found here.

http://saintpetertheapostle.com/church/faith-formation/know-faith/

However, we would greatly appreciate it if you would NOT simply direct your child to this site where the answers are right there to copy. If they have to do just a little work, like maybe a Google search or looking it up in the Confirmed in the Spirit text, it is more likely they may remember the material.

2.) Saints – We have been introducing our students to the concepts of saints, patron saints and picking a saint’s name for a Confirmation name. During most class sessions, we will show a short (usually around three minutes) video of some saints’ story.

3.) Confirmed in the Spirit – This is our working text for Confirmation prep. Since this might be helpful to the students in preparing their weekly Faith Assessment “homework,” we will send this home with them. Please, help your child to remember to bring it back to class with them on Wednesday.

And as we have done in the past several years, we will end each class by asking each student to tell us one thing they learned that night. A reasonable response will result in some reward, sometimes a cookie, sometimes a doo-dad (glow stick, pencil, prayer card) or whatever.

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We had another good class Wednesday evening. We finished up our discussion of Baptism.

We reviewed the three aspects or purposes of Baptism.

1. Wipes us free from sin.

2. Initiates us to the Church and the “Communion of Saints”

3. Gives us the spiritual strength to live as God wishes us to live

We discussed that while all of this class was baptized as infants, there are people who are baptized when they are older. We talked a little about RCIA and what that is all about.

We also talked about godparents and their role – a back-up for parents on the spiritual side. Some of the class had some difficulty understanding that the baptismal godparents are not necessarily the people who designated to care for a child in the event something happens to the parents. We explained that the two concepts are entirely different. The guardians would deal with all aspects of a child’s life; the godparents only the spiritual.

We pointed out that everyone is called to Baptism. There are no qualifications and no one is rejected.

We talked about praying for the dead, and pointed out that yesterday, coincidentally, was All Souls Day, when the church prays for all deceased. Some students expressed surprised that they were “allowed” to pray for the soul of any deceased person. “Even if they didn’t live in Savannah?”

We got a little into the mechanics of the sacrament. One of the photos in their book showed an adult being baptized in a tub or pool in a church. We talked about how different churches sometimes do things differently. However, Catholics believe that it doesn’t matter whether it is total immersion or just a cup of water. It works fine both ways.

We pretty much blew right past the four main symbols of Baptism.

  • Water
  • Chrism oil
  • White garment
  • Candle

I think we’ll spend a little time next week talking about religious symbols and their importance in worship.

We finished up with the surprising (to the students) revelation that anyone can perform a Baptism in an emergency. We pointed out that this emergency situation most often is called into play with a critically ill newborn baby.

Learn something new every day.

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Before we talk about anything else, please be advised, that there will be NO CCD class next Wednesday, November 11. The Savannah Chatham public schools will be out for Veterans’ Day and so will we.

Apparently the public schools were out yesterday also, and it showed in class attendance. We had only six dedicated students show, out of our 16 total. It was a quiet evening.

We did go ahead and teach a class. We covered chapter four, for those of you following along at home, which deals with role models and saints.

We started by talking about memorials and role models. Following that was a passage from Revelations that described those who have gone on to be with God, their happiness and why they are happy.

From there we talked about the concept of saints and sainthood. Everyone who has lived a good life and is now with God can be considered a saint. We discussed the difference between saints (with a small s) and named Saints (with a capital S), and the way the Church decides who gets named a Saint.

We finished by reading the stories of three saints and near-saints (blesseds).

It wasn’t the most exciting class of the year, but we muddled through.

We’ll see you in two weeks (November 18) and then be off for Thanksgiving week.

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