Catechism classes


#1

Hi everyone!!!!

So, I'm all excited...I went into my parish office this morning and dropped off the enrollement and registration for my DD to start her cathechism classes...she starts first grade, on...I think the 23rd, and then, next month around the same time she'll start up with catechism.

I never went thru catechism...whats it like? is it like sunday school at a protestant church, I been in one of those..you learn songs and color pictures (lol) but I'm really HOPING catechism is a little more 'in depth' if you know what I mean? What should I expect?? Does anyone have any advice for me, as a parent to help her?

Can adults go thru catechism too? They only had price listing for children..and I felt silly asking. ((I almost want to say that adults go to 'seminary' but I'm thinkin' thats just for men that want to be priests right??)) is it bad, or wrong- if I've taken communion, but have never gone thru catechism? This is all so new to me ladies fill me in!!


#2

warning: you could be a catechism nerd, too!

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.


#3

Oh you are in for such fun! We have moved to a new parish where there are no catechism classes, so I cover religion in home school, now, but I LOVED attending Catechism with my son and helping out the teachers.

If you feel you would benefit from adult catechism, may I suggest you enroll in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). It is designed for people considering converting to Catholicism, but it is open to regular Catholics who simply want to learn about their faith. I went through 2 years of RCIA and we always had a few Catholics attend. And then I helped out in our Church at RCIA and there, too, we had Catholics attend. ALL were very enthused and said they got so much good out of going. Just being witness to conversion up close can be very moving.

Also ask your rectory office (and Diocesan office) if they have or can recommend any adult classes or workshops. Check with your Diocese office calendar (probably has a website) for classes, workshops, conferences and retreats.

Congratulations on the little one starting Catechism. She is going to love it!


#4

Oh - also wanted to answer you about what to expect. Monicatholic covered most of it. In our curriculum, the students took home some sort of "homework" which was very easy. It might be a little family project - like finding one way to show love to my family this week, or it might be to help the child memorize a prayer. The children were "tested" on their prayers and answering catechism questions.

If your child needs any adaptations, most teachers are very open to suggestions. For example, my son has severe speech delays (he has Down syndrome), so I had to help translate sometimes, and he also was allowed to sign some of the prayers and answers. All the teachers worked very hard to include him and not make a big "deal" over his adaptive stuff. On the other hand, he was one of the "stars" behaviorally.

Oh boy, I miss those days.


#5

I’m curious, did you convert? If you were raised Catholic wouldn’t you have gone through catechism in order to make your First Communion? If you converted, you would have to do the RCIA, right?


#6

Oh - also wanted to answer you about what to expect. Monicatholic covered most of it. In our curriculum, the students took home some sort of "homework" which was very easy. It might be a little family project - like finding one way to show love to my family this week, or it might be to help the child memorize a prayer. The children were "tested" on their prayers and answering catechism questions.

If your child needs any adaptations, most teachers are very open to suggestions. For example, my son has severe speech delays (he has Down syndrome), so I had to help translate sometimes, and he also was allowed to sign some of the prayers and answers. All the teachers worked very hard to include him and not make a big "deal" over his adaptive stuff. On the other hand, he was one of the "stars" behaviorally.

Oh boy, I miss those days.

awesome cool wonderful!!! naomi is pretty significantly speech delayed, too. but darnit if she can't make the sign of the cross and you bet she can say "Amen!" to all the prayers. she genuflects pretty darn cute, too.


#7

[quote="HeavenlyRoses, post:5, topic:208676"]
I'm curious, did you convert? If you were raised Catholic wouldn't you have gone through catechism in order to make your First Communion? If you converted, you would have to do the RCIA, right?

[/quote]

Oh no what happened was, my mom had me when she was 14...and..I have no idea why, but for some reason she baptized me catholic. Even now, she's very liberal, feminist...anti- religion- I really couldnt tell you why she baptized me catholic. And as a kid..on Sunday mornings, she'd wake up and I'd be sitting there watching mass on TV..lol..Idk why I've always felt a relation to Him, but never knew Him...

So anyways I grew up, believing in God, if anyone asked I'd say I was catholic but had NO clue about any of it...until up until recently, about 2 years ago I'd say, I kept seeing those 1260 Catholic Radio bumper stickers?! LOL, the EWTN ones, and one day I swear I couldnt contain the urge, curiousity- what have you, and I flipped the channel and I listen EVERYDAY now...became a member of the Parish right down the road..have been going to mass...I dont want my daughter to miss out on everything I did...LMBO I swear I'm living vicariously thru her!! I soo wish I could have had you know, the ceremony where they wear all white and have first communion... my heart swells knowing that, she's growing up loving the Lord..

We pray together, and its just so beautiful. I've listened to her prayers evolve...from, God bless our family, to....God bless this friend, and this neighbor, and the baby in this person's tummy, etc..she is SO thoughtful now of other people..I cant wait for her to go thru cathechism and watch her consciounse continue to form..its amazing.


#8

LOL oh girl I am a full on CATHOLIC NERD! lol!! I love it! it just gets better and better the deeper you get doesnt it??!!


#9

dear charlotte,

if you only knew how i LOVE to have a mom or dad come and say, "look, i heard you teach this to my kid, but what does it mean...?"

i NEVER think they're morons!! I think they're WONDERFUL and AWESOME and i think they've given me a HUGE gift to trust me enough to ask!!

so, you pray for God to point out the kind soul and ask them!

and please get this book for you: catholiccompany.com/life-grace-revised-grade-7-student-book-p1004560/?category=1087&variation=1 i really think you will LOVE it. and it is sooooo full of everything wonderful and True-- it is our Faith.

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?

Quinceaneras are cultural, though sweet 16s are cultural too. neither is mandatory for any girl. but because the Latino culture has been predominately Catholic, there are sacraments and blessing added to the practice, but Quinceanera isn't a sacrament unto itself. in fact, here, because there have been so many instances of the Quinceanera daughter and family seeming to have NO clue about the Mass and church reverence etc., the local pastors follow a strict guideline for Quinceaneras-- dress code, allowable music etc. almost like the standards they have for wedding guidelines.

it is not a substitute for confirmation, it is not the Latino equivalent to Jewish basmitzvah.


#10

[quote="Charlotte408, post:7, topic:208676"]
Oh no what happened was, my mom had me when she was 14...and..I have no idea why, but for some reason she baptized me catholic. Even now, she's very liberal, feminist...anti- religion- I really couldnt tell you why she baptized me catholic. And as a kid..on Sunday mornings, she'd wake up and I'd be sitting there watching mass on TV..lol..Idk why I've always felt a relation to Him, but never knew Him...

So anyways I grew up, believing in God, if anyone asked I'd say I was catholic but had NO clue about any of it...until up until recently, about 2 years ago I'd say, I kept seeing those 1260 Catholic Radio bumper stickers?! LOL, the EWTN ones, and one day I swear I couldnt contain the urge, curiousity- what have you, and I flipped the channel and I listen EVERYDAY now...became a member of the Parish right down the road..have been going to mass...I dont want my daughter to miss out on everything I did...LMBO I swear I'm living vicariously thru her!! I soo wish I could have had you know, the ceremony where they wear all white and have first communion... my heart swells knowing that, she's growing up loving the Lord..

We pray together, and its just so beautiful. I've listened to her prayers evolve...from, God bless our family, to....God bless this friend, and this neighbor, and the baby in this person's tummy, etc..she is SO thoughtful now of other people..I cant wait for her to go thru cathechism and watch her consciounse continue to form..its amazing.

[/quote]

Can adults go thru catechism too? They only had price listing for children..and I felt silly asking. ((I almost want to say that adults go to 'seminary' but I'm thinkin' thats just for men that want to be priests right??)) is it bad, or wrong- if I've taken communion, but have never gone thru catechism? This is all so new to me ladies fill me in!!

Charlotte, it sounds like maybe you should consider signing yourself up for RCIA (rite of Christian initiation for adults) too, since I gather from this that you were baptized but have not had the rest of the sacraments of initiation (reconciliation and communion). By baptism you certainly ARE Catholic, but you still need to complete your full initiation into the Church. It sounds like an exciting prospect for both you and your daughter to be discovering the richness of the faith together!! Call up your parish and tell them your situation, they will be more than happy to help you. RCIA will likely start the same week your daughter's catechism class does.

Yes, you should refrain from receiving communion until you have completed RCIA. :)


#11

[quote="Charlotte408, post:8, topic:208676"]
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.

[/quote]

You should check out the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. It is based on the CCC, same set up, lots of quotes, but it is written in an easier to read format and has a few fun extras like a Saint at the beginning of each chapter.

Catholicism for Dummies is another good basic book.


#12

charlotte,

i think perhaps you may continue to receive Jesus in eucharist.

here is the canon law on reception of Eucharist:

Can. 912 Any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 913 ß1 For holy communion to be administered to children, it is required that they have sufficient knowledge and be accurately prepared, so that according to their capacity they understand what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion.

ß2 The blessed Eucharist may, however, be administered to children in danger of death if they can distinguish the Body of Christ from ordinary food and receive communion with reverence.

Can. 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and of those who take their place, as it is the duty of the parish priest, to ensure that children who have reached the use of reason are properly prepared and, having made their sacramental confession, are nourished by this divine food as soon as possible. It is also the duty of the parish priest to see that children who have not reached the use of reason, or whom he has judged to be insufficiently disposed, do not come to holy communion.

Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.

Can. 917 One who has received the blessed Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only within a eucharistic celebration in which that person participates, without prejudice to the provision of can. 921 ß2.

Can. 918 It is most strongly recommended that the faithful receive holy communion in the course of a eucharistic celebration. If, however, for good reason they ask for it apart from the Mass, it is to be administered to them, observing the liturgical rites.

Can. 919 ß1 Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from all food and drink, with the sole exception of water and medicine.

ß2 A priest who, on the same day, celebrates the blessed Eucharist twice or three times may consume something before the second or third celebration, even though there is not an hour's interval.

ß3 The elderly and those who are suffering from some illness, as well as those who care for them, may receive the blessed Eucharist even if within the preceding hour they have consumed something.

Can. 920 ß1 Once admitted to the blessed Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.

there's some more, but this i think, speaks to your concerns. ask your priest. and of course, if you didnt go to confession before First eucharist, you must go.

talk to your priest. he will not be mad. he'll be glad to guide you.


#13

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