Posts Tagged ‘st. paul’

The subject matter for last night’s class was not the most compelling, but we had a pretty good session anyway.

The overall subject was Grace, which we described as God’s love. We compared it to parental love. (This is a reinforcement of the discussion we had on October 6.) The Sacraments are God’s way of conveying his Grace / Love to us. We talked about how a demonstration of parental love (a hug, a word of encouragement, etc) can provide motivation. Similarly, Grace / God’s love gives us the strength and motivation to live good lives, etc.

We read the story of St Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. We discussed how this was a vivid demonstration of receiving Grace. We talked about how God only rarely hits someone in such an unmistakable manner. Rather than shouting, God usually whispers, and it is we who must listen.

We lightly touched on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We didn’t spend much time on them. That is a sufficiently large subject that we could spend several class sessions on them, and we don’t have time for that.

We read the story of Sister (Saint) Katherine Drexel, a missionary to Native Americans and African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century.

We finished up with a “quiz bowl” reviewing some of the material we have covered to date.

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We are moving along quickly…maybe a little too quickly, but we have lots of ground to cover. Last night, we had a pretty good class, with the very able assistance of Mrs. Shonda Peecksen.

We started with a review of last week’s lesson on Baptism. This week’s lesson was to finish Baptism and move on to Confirmation.

We started with a story of a fifth grader who moved to a new town and was the new kid in the school. We asked the students of they had someone like that in their class, how they could help him feel at home. Not surprisingly, about half the class had experienced what it is like to be the new kid. We used this example to emphasize that how they live their life every day is an important part of being a Catholic.

The next part of the lesson walked us through the baptism and confirmation of an older child.  We discussed the four important symbols of Baptism:

  • Water
  • Candle
  • White garment
  • Chrism oil

As we moved into Confirmation, we pointed out that most religions have some kind of reaffirmation process for children when they reach their early teens. We asked the class if anyone had asked them if they wished to be baptized and, since all of them were baptized as either infants or small children, the unanimous answer was “no.” We talked about how with Confirmation, the sacrament is their opportunity to step forward and “confirm” their faith and their desire to live as a Catholic.

We briefly discussed the custom of taking the name of a patron saint as a Confirmation name. We also sidetracked into a brief discussion of the various rites of the Church (Latin Rite, Eastern Rite, etc.) and how some churches may have different customs as they pertain to Baptism and Confirmation.

We ran out of time before we ran out of material, which isn’t such a bad thing. It means we had a lot of discussion.

Next week, we’ll do a quick summary / review of Baptism and Confirmation and move on to the concept of grace. The story of St Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is the centerpiece of the lesson.

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We had our last real CCD class last night. I’d like to tell you we ended on a high note, but I would be less than truthful.

I was a little nervous about this lesson because it stuck its toe into the water of sexuality. The lesson started out with a discussion of love in its various forms, including a reading from 1 Corinthians 13 (“Love is kind…” etc) However, about half-way through the chapter, the text included a two-paragraph section on sexuality.

After addressing the importance of respecting their own bodies, as well as the bodies of others, it included sentences such as these.

“As we grow towards sexual maturity, we are to follow the example of Christ and practice chasity.”

“Chasity is a virtue that helps us express our sexuality in ways that are proper for our time in life.”

“…we do not engage in sex before marriage.”

I expected a slew of questions, most of which I wouldn’t want to answer without parents around, however I really didn’t get many. This was a subject the students really did NOT want to discuss.

I admitted that I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach the subject, because I wasn’t certain how much the students had already learned. They assured me that they already “knew it all.”

One student raised his hand and announced, “At my school, we already watched the puberty video.” I guess that covers it.

I talked about the importance of having good communication with their parents, as they will have lots of questions and issues in the coming years. One girl told me that she would never talk to her parents about something like that. “I’ll just get my answers from Google. That way I’ll know I’m getting straight answers.” Yikes! (Oh, yes. We did discuss this.)

Finally, I ran up the white flag and surrendered, when one student asked, “Can we please talk about something else now?” and the entire class agreed. I didn’t argue.

Next week will be the final class for the year. We will not attempt to teach a lesson. It will be mostly social. Parents are invited.

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We have been putting new floors in our house this week, so both the house and my life are in disarray. Sorry for the late post. But moving on…

We had an interesting class Wednesday.

Our plan to conduct a Baptism demonstration was delayed, but there is some good news attached to that. A parish family with a child in CCD and another newborn baby, have agreed to allow the baby’s Baptism to be a part of the CCD program. We will do that in two weeks, on January 27. That should be very cool.

Father Mariusz stopped in and answered questions for nearly a half hour. He connected well with the students. He answered some of the questions that the students have asked Mrs. Worthington and myself, but would be better being answered by a priest, including:

  • What’s the story with “original sin?
  • What happens to a baby who dies before being baptized?
  • Why don’t priests get married?

Mrs. W asked Father M if priests ever had any fun. The students were impressed and surprised that Father M has a Wii and plays “Guitar Hero.”

When Father M left, we had only about 20 minutes left in the class, not enough time to do a full lesson. So we played “Catholic Hangman” for awhile.

Next week we talk about the concept of “grace,” and God’s “tough love” on St Paul on the road to Damascus.

The Baptism is scheduled for January 27.

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