Tomorrow, Friday, October 16, I will be speaking at the Chicago Festival of Faith on the topic of the Catechetical Message of Scripture.
Then, it’s off to Portland, OR, for their Catechetical Conference at which I will deliver the keynote address and offer a workshop, both relating to The Catechist’s Toolbox.
And then, of course, it’s back home for Monday evening’s session of religious education with my 8th graders! I hope to finish walking the young people through the Bible, setting the stage for our unit on Jesus. We will also be distributing their Confirmation packets, which includes everything they need to do as part of their preparation for the Sacrament.
Please pray for me and I’ll be praying for you that we may effectively proclaim God’s Word wherever we go! Have a great weekend!
When you return, can you post something about this:
Tonight was my second class. I have a freshman girl (I teach 8th grade as you know), and she missed our first class so this was her first class. Great kid really. Participates in discussion etc.
Anyway, we were reading the precepts of the Church….which I pointed out were pretty cushy, relatively speaking. She asked me, “what if my family doesn’t go to church and I beg my parents not to go so that I don’t have to go?”
I told her, and the class, that I view our class as a community (which I stated in the first class and again today) and that “we” can only control what goes on in our classroom. That we are just trying to form ourselves for later in life and do the best we can to follow Jesus’ example.
After class, I asked her how she ended up as a freshman in this class. Her parents yanked her out of Religous Ed after 6th grade, then after a year, decided they needed to send her so they sent her to our parish (they were at another parish….this is my second student in this class, by the way, that didn’t like another parish’s RE program so sent them to ours…..I hadn’t realized this happens before now). I told her that regardless of going to Mass or not, hang in there and make the best of our group and our prayer times.
Our second guided reflection (which I took from a Baptismal Promise post of yours from last school year) went fantastic.
Let me know your thoughts on comments from kids like “I beg my parents not to go to church and I hate it here”.
Greg, sounds like you’ve established a good rapport with this young lady and that’s the first and most important step. When kids say things like they hate going to church or “beg their parents not to go because they don’t want to go,” they’re often testing you to see how you react. It’s important to not overreact but to respond patiently as you did. The task is not to debate them on the spot and convince them that they either go to church or risk eternal damnation, but rather to invite them to enter more deeply into the life of a faith community that believes that Sunday Eucharist is the key to salvation. Sounds to me like you are right on target with your response to her…an approach that may lead her to see her faith and the idea of going to Church in a whole new way – a real potential for conversion. Keep us informed with your/her progress!