My daughter started children’s RCIA today and didn’t like it. She never went to a Catholic school so She did not do any sacramental preparations in primary school. She is 12 now and the materials they are using are suited to 8 year old children. She felt very patronised and as if she was too old. She thinks she’d rather attend an adults class and I think she would gain more from that. There are no classes between the 8 year old class and the adults classes. She is quite a smart kid and would probably cope with learning with the adults but would they allow her? Is there an age limit?
why is she in RCIA if she is already baptized?
I know of no parish who does not offer religious education in all grades. She should attend a class with those of her own age, and sacramental prep sessions, with parents, in addition, which are usually offered outside of CCD/RE.
If your parish does not offer RE for her grade, offer to help start a class or ask your pastor’s permission to enroll her in a class at a neighboring parish. All Catholic parishes are OBLIGATED to assist parents in their role as religious educators of their children, especially with regard to preparation for the sacraments.
I went to RCIA even though I had been baptised. It is not exclusive to people who haven’t been baptised. It is for sacramental preparation the same as catechism classes. There are no classes for kids her age. This is my dilemma. In Scotland there are Catholic schools so there is no need for them to run catechism classes except for the few children who do not attend Catholic schools. We did not send her to a Catholic School and due to illness and social phobia’s we have left it until now. I have only been able to go back to Mass relatively recently. Anyway, she goes to a CatholicSchool now and wants to be confirmed and have Holy Communion. My little one also goes to Catholic School too now so it will not be a problem for her except I think age 8 is too young.
In addition our priest is away for a month and we have a visiting priest from Pakistan. He is not familiar with all the running of everything as he has only just arrived.
I’m not positive but I think (at least in the States) a 12 year old could go to adult RCIA. If she feels the children’s one is beneath her than I would recommend it. Better to have her asking question’s than sitting not enjoying going at all.
Yep that’s what I hoped. I will ask the cc teacher about it or I might contact her RE teacher at school and see if he will teach her.
I don’t know your set-up but if you were in the US I would suggest calling around to neighboring parishes to see if they have an age-appropriate sacramental preparation class. While she may be studying alongside children who are in RCIA, she is NOT in RCIA.
I am going to speak to the person that runs it and ask that she is taught in an age appropriate way. Failing that, I am going to contact her RE teacher at school and see if they will run any classes. When I was at parent’s night, he said if she needed any help he would be more than willing to help. But on the other hand, I am aware that many teachers have enough to do. I think in the US things are a bit different in that RE is not in schools and classes are regular in the churches. Thankyou for your help though.
I spoke to the ladies that run the classes today bacause Claire felt as though the programme is too young for her. They were very nice but I am not sure that they understand. They told me that just because ‘academically’ she understands, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue with the 7 year olds programme so that she can learn faith. I feel like it was a dig at my parenting. I may have been unable to take her to Mass but we were teaching her faith at home since she was little. I didn’t want to go into all that with the ladies cos, frankly, it is my business. But surely faith can be taught in an age appropriate way too. She is a mature, clever 12 year old! She doesn’t need to see pre-school cartoons with talking clouds and stars to impart the faith that I have obviously ‘missed’.
I feel that she is being patronised and I think they might be patronising me too but I don’t have the confidence to do anything about it. I feel like I have failed in my parenting and I am frustrated that she has to go to these stupid classes anyway. Why is it that they don’t see the need to teach older children differently than younger children? They have different needs. I am an experienced teacher and am able to assess that. When I argued that, they just kept repeating that I need to stop thinking about the academics of understanding and look at faith. Do they think I am a competely useless parent? Are they right?
I am guessing that those ladies are insisting on the children’s RCIA course because “that’s how it’s always been done” or because they honestly don’t know any other way for your daughter to do it. If the children’s RCIA class is too young for your daughter, by all means inquire about the adult RCIA class. Would the intellectual level or vocabulary level be above her head? At some point the adults may want to discuss questions of a sexual nature (all those hot button issues facing the church today), for example, and shouldn’t do so in front of a 12-year-old. Maybe they could schedule that discussion for one night when your daughter will be asked not to attend? Or maybe if they’re willing to keep the discussion delicate, maybe your daughter could attend with you there to chaperone? Maybe you could attend every class to explain things further to your daughter that she’s too shy to ask about in class? You need to judge your daughter’s readiness for that.
But if that option doesn’t work out, perhaps you have the option of homeschooling your daughter’s sacramental preparation. Your parish may never have done so, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work out. I get all my Catholic educational materials from www.setonbooks.com. I like that they’re solid catechetical materials, not touchy-feely fluff with no substance. No talking clouds or stars there! But they do have reproductions of beautiful, inspiring, great works of classic Catholic art. Browse under their religion section and see if you and your pastor or DRE can agree on a course of study. If you homeschool, you can proceed at your daughter’s level and pace.
Because I homeschool my children, I have asked to homeschool them for their sacramental preparation also. At our last parish with my first child, I wrote a letter to the pastor and director of religious education, and they had no problem with it. They didn’t even look at our textbooks, and I attended evening parents’ meetings and my daughter attended a Saturday morning half-day retreat. At our new parish with my second child, the pastor and DRE were more leery of my request. They did ask to inspect our textbooks before giving permission, the DRE “tested” my daughter with a 30 minute discussion to check her readiness, and I and my daughter did everything else (parents meetings, rehearsals) that other parents/kids (CCD or Catholic school families) did.
Definitely work on finding something that engages your daughter, don’t let her suffer boredom through activities planned for eight-year-olds. That kind of turn-off will affect how she feels about the Faith.
Would you consider waiting until your priest returns? He should be able to give you some guidance hopefully. Explain to your daughter that you will meet with your priest when he returns and ask her to do her best in the child’s class for another month. This may be a good opportunity as it will help teach her patience and obedience and she will practice making the best of a situation she does not like. We could all benefit from grace in dealing with not getting our own way right away!
I wonder if their reluctance is not so much to keep her in the child’s class…but to keep her out of the adults class? I never went through RCIA but I can imagine that some adults may be hesitant to discuss issues of deep faith and sins in front of a child.
Praying for you. Hang in there.
You are probably right about that last point. When I was in RCIA, we did talk about things not suitable for 12 year olds. I am just wishing there was something between 8 and adulthood that would be at her level. We will talk with the priest when he gets back. The 2 ladies may have been offended earlier but I am hoping that they will think about it after we left. I even suggested that I look for materials for her age in the Catholic book shop. They said that they will look at the Catechism though - that might be better. I had assumed they would do that anyway.