Last night, we had a very nice visit from our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matthew Nemchausky. Fr. Matt dropped in last week and asked if he could arrange for a time to meet the kids so I invited him to visit this week. We planned on perhaps 10-15 mins, however, the kids were so interested in him that the visit lasted a half-hour!
I thought it was an excellent experience for the kids and I was happy to set aside my lesson to make time for this. These kids rarely get to meet and talk with a priest. Fr. Matt is recently ordained so it was a treat for them to get to talk to such a young priest. Fr. Matt is quiet and soft-spoken and I thought his approach to the kids was very comfortable and natural, putting them at ease and making himself approachable yet professional.
I was proud of the kids because Fr. Matt asked them what they’ve learned so far this year, and, with a little prodding, they were able to recall something from every session! Then, when he opened it up for Q & A, it really took off! They wanted to know when he decided to become a priest, how that happened, what a “calling” is, what a seminary is, where the priests live, if he’s here every Sunday, what he does everyday, if he’s in the church all day, how long confession will take, if he says Mass every day, and a number of other thoughtful and cute questions. Fr. Matt responded to each in an informative manner and by the time he was ready to go, the kids had made a new friend.
I reminded the kids that when we talked a few weeks ago about keeping good voices on the “tape recorder” of our conscience and erasing bad voices, that we listed priests as one of the good voices. I hope to arrange a few more opportunities during the year for the kids to interact with Fr. Matt in these catechetical settings. Thanks Fr. Matt, for a good experience!
Hi Joe –
I hope you made sure they all received a first priestly blessing from Father!
Never too young to get children in the habit of asking priests for a blessing, especially new ordinands! 🙂
Kelly, too bad I hadn’t thought of that last night. I’ll remember next time. Thanks!
What a good thing. Our diocese’s vocations office said that kids are thinking about religious vocations especially in 4th and 7th grades. Maybe you can get a relgious sister in to talk to the kids sometime this year, too.
Amy, yes, I’m already thinking about that!
Nothing beats a priest or nun coming to spend close time with the kids.
This comment came via email from a DRE named Sandra,
I have incorporated weekly classroom visits from our Pastor throughout the year into the CCD Calendar for each classroom. The children and the Catechists love his visits and since they see the notice on the calendar, they anticipate his visit and the Catechists help them prepare for their question and answer series…. Our Pastor, Father John Flanagan, spends about 15 minutes (sometimes more) with the class and it is treasured time for all! I include all age groups and classes, Pre-Kinder through our Confirmation High School Students.
Sandra Dorsey, DRE
St. Jerome Catholic Church
San Antonio, Texas
thanks for sharing your experience, Sandra!