how wonderful that you’re excited for your girl’s catechism! i’ll dive right in. the water looks FINE:
ask to see what text they’re using. look it over. you’re looking for a text where the lessons are foundational, not minutea. i.e., “God made the world” not “Fish are part of God’s creation.” you’re looking for a text that teaches catechism, not social issues disguised as catechism.
you’re looking for a text that is trinitarian (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) Christocentric (Jesus Christ True God, true Man) and Ecclesial (THIS One Holy Catholic apostolic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ.) it doesnt have to say this on every page, but when the content begins to open up to these Truths, it should not SHRINK from clear proclamations of Truth. yes, even in a grade K or 1 text, the content should at least build to these foundational Truths.
sit in on a few classes. or as many as you like! (we LOVE parents to stay witht heir kids and learn what their kids learn!) here’s what you’re looking for as a mom: in a 60 minute class of 5 or 6 year olds, you should be able to pick out ONE proclamation-- ONE hard, clear nugget of Truth as the center of the session. there should be 3- 5 active reinforcements-- activities that point right back to the proclamation. these should be drama, manipulatives (toys used as teaching aids) etc instead of dead old coloring pages and word searches. if the catechist relies too heavilly on crafts (and esp. foam crafts from oriental trading post) try and offer to help her with something else for future classes (but you have to know the proclamation.)
all this should be wrapped around by prayer, song, and some good old fashioned memorization-- prayers, foundational doctrine like Trinity/ Incarnation etc.
the proclamations should be foundational “Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a mustard tree. it will grow and we can live in it.” NOT minutea: “God gives us eyes to see.”
if possible, a monthly visit to the blessed sacrament (10 minutes of adoration, for 6 year olds) surrounded by song and intercessory prayer is great!
the catechist should seem well prepared. what i just described takes about 3 hours to plan for a 60 minute class. the catechist should be happy, loving, engaging. s/he should have a bad-cop helper. someone to stop behavior problems which are well-thwarted in a well-planned class. the catechist’s lesson should be an invitation-- an invitation to an encounter-- a deeper knowing and relationship with God-- not just information, but spiritual formation, to hopefully, bring about transformation.
for you, if things are going well in your daughter’s catechism class, find out if you can sit in a higher ***content ***grade. if grade 8 or 9 is spending lots of time on life/ moral/ Faith application issues, then that class is probably not for you.
if your parish is using Faith and Life, sit in on grade 7. the Salvation History-centered text is the best capsulated catechism i’ve seen.
you might just want to purchase one (grade 7 Faith and Life) for yourself no matter what! also useful, the USCCB’s Catholic Catechism for Adults and of course the complete Catechism of the Catholic Church.
OKOKOKOK. I give. i am a dyed in the wool, incorrigable, unrehabilitatable catechism nerd.
Awesome see I didnt even know these kinds of materials and courses were available…I thought RCIA was another kind of seminary…I’m just really too embarrassed to ASK anyone at my parish, because…you know I guess they ASSUME people know…and I dont want to look like a moron…
Another quick question, while I have you ladies here…
Quince’s?? What are your thoughts/opinions on those? My daughters half hispanic, and for cultural reasons I wanted to offer her either a Quinceanera or a Sweet 16. but I know a part of the Quince takes place IN the church, and if it has a deeper, spiritual, meaning–I’d be more inclined to have her have a Quince…Why is it, if it is a ceremony done by the church, is it only done by hispanics? :shrug:
I tried to read the ‘complete catechism of the CC’ and I swear it reads like a mechanical instruction manual. No really!! LOL, I know its beautfiul and all…but…I had to look up every other word in the dictionary! Thats one thing I love about this faith, is I’m constantly learning not just about the faith but adding to my VOCAB!
It would be nice though if they made books/materials, etc for lay people…that speak our language.