CCd Class - low attendance

I learned from our DRE that only about 11 Kindergartners attend CCD class in our HUGE parish.

I’m sad about this.:blush:

And then today, some of my Baptist students were talking about how much fun they had drilling Bible verses.

There has to be a change in how we, as Catholics, view formation of our children. There is more than going to Mass, although Mass is #1.

I’m not sure why the giant type. Are you trying to convey shouting?

In most of the states in the US, Kindergarten is an optional year of education, even for regular school. CCE programs traditionally started with first or even second grade until fairly recently. Most Kindergarteners don’t read and CCE is more arts,crafts and songs than anything else.

Catholics don’t “drill Bible verses” at any age, unless they are learning Scipture for a purpose.

Now, if you only had 11 Kindergarteners attending Mass, you would have a real problem. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, CCD in our country no longer stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. It stands for Color, Cut, and Draw. The children, by and large, are no longer taught the faith in CCD classes. They’re taught to color within the lines, cut straight, etc. Even in later grades, we’re still feeding them pablum when they’re eating steak everywhere else! We underestimate their ability to understand. This explains why approximately 75% of people in this country who claim to be Catholic don’t even attend Sunday Mass, but do practice artificial birth control, support abortion, etc. They don’t have a clue as to what the teachings of Christ and His Church are! There is such a thing as culpable ignorance, though. How many hours/week do they spend watching TV vs. studying their Catholic faith? Which of those two activities is going to help them get to heaven?

I believe that actually having the kids participate, such as, moving as opposed to sitting at a table or desk and being lectured, really makes a difference. They like to “role play” and be active. This may be something that can help a lot. Personally, I do this with my 4-5 ongoing faith formation class and jr and senior high groups. They have to get excited and learn that Jesus is present with them when they are praying and learning about Him. Try it and hopefully it works out. The books should more or less be “guides” for the subject at hand! Good luck and God bless! :wink:

There’s a lot of truth to what you said. I teach 8th grade CCD, and I’m disappointed in how little the kids know about the faith. They really did do mostly art projects in earlier grades since the teacher’s emphasis was on having fun, not turning them off the faith by boring them. There has to be a balance, yes, they want to have fun, do games, etc. But some points simply do take concentration and consideration. The issues Martin Luther raised during the protestant reformation. At the end of class last night a couple of the kids asked, “Isn’t it true you can be both Buddhist and Catholic?” They also asked if it was ok to believe in reincarnation, since one of their mother’s, who states she is catholic, believes in reincarnation.

It’s hard to teach kids the faith in one hour a week if it isn’t being practised, emphasized in the home. CCD should be reinforcing the faith taught at home and having the kids build a network of positive peer pressure with kids with the same values.

You make good points. The problem is that we are now to the point where these childrens’ parents don’t know the faith either. They have nothing to pass on. There is an old Latin saying that says that you cannot give what you do not have. Such is the case.

You are to be commended for trying. Don’t underestimate the children’s ability to understand. Feed 'em some steak with their veggies.

If they’re into audio, I recommend my website:

It’s full of free .MP3 files of good, solid Catholic talks. I would especially recommend the page of talks by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the Catechism:

While entertaining, he give’s 'em all solid stuff that is deep, yet easily understood.

God bless! :slight_smile:

Excellent point by all. Thanks.

I dont think it is unusual for a Kindergarten class to have a low attendance at CCD. Many parishes don’t even have them at that age, and many parents think that is too young to start formal religious education. Now if there were only 11 kids in your first grade class, I’d be worried.

In my daughter’s parish they have a pre-school and Kindergarten class during Mass, (no it’s not a babysitting service) and neither of my grandchildren attended because their mother wanted them to get used to Mass, and to have the family together at Mass.

In this parish kinder and preK are not part of CCD, they are programs that run concurrently with CCD sessions, supervised parents with books and resources easily used by them, primarily for the convenience of the catechists with young children, and parents of first communion candidates who must be there for their own faith formation class, a 12 week program which is required of all parents in the program.

It is no secret that the key to proper catechesis of children is catechizing parents, so we focus a lot of time and attention in that area. Basic formation echoes the program of that name offered on the diocesan level as initiatial catechist formation. It includes sacramental preparation class, but expands it with sessions on the creed, scripture etc. It also includes a session on marriage and family as a gateway to offering incentive to convalidation or addressing other marriage issues, which are the biggest obstacle our families seem to face in uniting the entire family in the Faith.

This class is also structured as the beginning of the adult confirmation prep process since so many of our parents need to complete their own initiation sacraments, and is offered concurrent with each CCD session for their convenience.

Our biggest obstacle regarding CCD attendance is the taks, Texas progress tests they take in public school. If the kids fail they are scheduled for extensive tutoring after school and on weekends to make up for what teachers failed to impart during regular classtime.

I will say it with my dying breath
if you are unhappy with CCD/RE/PSR in your parish and do not volunteer in some way, you are part of the problem. Why not respond to the call of the Holy Spirit, who has raised this concern in your heart, and become part of the solution.

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