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January 12, 2011

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Well, I am laughing at this, because it's not my kid who thinks there's a Gospel according to Paul. Although, hey, at least that kid knows about Paul.

And in a fit of graciousness, let's decide that the kid just doesn't know how to spell Luke, right?

I always mean to be teaching my kids more, factually and in terms of lived experience. I fail, over and over again. From what little I see of your lives via this blog, I totally understand why you chose not to do CCD.

That having been said, Sunday school is sort of a bare minimum in our family. And I think it's useful not just in terms of "I'm lazy, at least this way they learn about that wacky Jacob and his soap-opera family," but also in terms of "there are a wide variety of ways that people in our church interact with the body of Christ, and we need to be in fellowship even with the folks who never seem to learn who wrote the third Gospel."

Then again, we already have to have lots of discussion about things like, "some people in our family think it's good to ordain women, and some don't, and some are excited and full of joy at the church's decision to bless and ordain gay and lesbian pastors and their marriages, and some aren't, and some people want to know how the Gospels were written in specific historical contexts for specific theological reasons, and some want to think that they're the literal Word of God." And I can't figure out a way to rewrite that ridiculous run-on sentence without sounding smug, myself. But Sunday school has been a valuable starting point for conversations, no matter what the factual information being conveyed.

FWIW. I don't have a toddler at home, nor children of different ages with different needs to balance because of that.

My husband works for the parish, and there is no way I'm putting my kid in CCD. I want my children to continue to take their faith seriously. It is a scandal for them to see children who do not. A couple years ago the teacher preparing children for First Holy Communion left to become a Presbyterian. I have to wonder if she really knows the teaching of the Real Presence. Even if you're not homeschooling, I would still do catechism on your own. Canon law supports your right as a parent to do so. Good luck!

I think you're doing well by your children by teaching them by example.

I've taught in Catholic schools, and I promise you they are full of non-Catholics, people who only belong to a church to get the discounted tuition, and a bare-handful of kids from families like yours.

As for the quality of the religious education, when I was teaching middle school I, as a non-Catholic, had another teacher come in to do the religion class each day. Sometimes I stayed in that classroom, sometimes I went across the hall to another classroom where religion was being taught to another class of middle school kids. I knew more about the Bible and more about Catholicism than either of those teachers, and both would ask me questions mid-class if they were stumped.

High school is a little different since the religion teachers tend to actually have some specialized background, but if you're reading and discussing the Bible, discussing and doing works of mercy and social justice, and teaching them at an age appropriate level about sexuality then you have the religious curriculum covered.

I teach CCD (a new thing - I thought it would be a breath of fresh air to teach a group of 5 year olds about the Bible. I was doing it because I felt I was called - now, I'm not so sure). I had all these wonderful visions of teaching these children as I teach my own son. Unfortunately, it hasn't panned out that way. I feel like I am the Saturday morning babysitter.

This is something of a hot button issue with me; our church's pastoral associate informed me that if I want my daughter to do First Commmunion next year at our parish versus the parish of the school she goes to she's got to go to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd all this year and all next. (Very long story why there are two different parishes, which boils down the fact I love our church and didn't feel comfortable with the school, while the priest at the parish church where she goes to school is an argument for a mandatory retirement age for clergy, let's just put it that way). I'm irritated by this, to put it mildly. I feel like we're being punished for not sending her to the parish school and it's triggering all my Authority Issues which are in large part what made me leave the church the first time.

I came back to say that if I had to take the kids to Sunday school on a totally different day, at an inconvenient time, and then PAY for it, I would not do it, not if it were the same level of quality it is now. Don't get me wrong, I taught Sunday school, my friends teach my kids, but it's not something I would pay for. No way.

I still think that there's value to sitting in a classroom and discovering that not everyone in the family of God knows the same stuff. It's good preparation for some of the more idiotic adult-ed sessions you'll attend when you're grown up. But maybe that's a Protestant thing.

I'm laughing out loud about the Gospel of Luck! So glad to hear that it was another student's work. Keep up the good work, Jamie. I lick to read your posts.

I feel for you my dear... Our Rel Ed program was a joke when my big boys were preparing for Confirmation, but then our new Polish pastor came 3 years ago and revamped the whole program to Faith and Life by Ignatius Press, requiring Sunday mass attendance and homework/tests and 1/2 of the families left (over 500 kids)....

But the program is now awesome, a great support to our faith education at home... I wish you had the same!

Oh dear. I feel your pain. Both my husband and my father went through RCIA, and both went to more than one parish before they found a program they could sit through every week without holding hands or hearing heresy.

I was lucky that my pastor was very understanding about my Confirmation when I was a teenager. He knew me and my family, and rather than make me attend classes with the kids who hadn't been to church since First Communion, he just sent me home with the "Bishop's Confirmation Questions" (sort of a final exam) and told me to fill it out and bring it back before Easter.

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