Feeling disappointed all around-need advice


Hi all- let me start by saying that I have what I think is a very deep faith and belief in my Catholic faith. That’s probably why I feel so disappointed about a few things. ok- DH and I are married 7 years. He is a convert. I was raised Catholic. RIght now I’m teaching catechism and let me tell you- I can’t wait for the year to be over! It is TOTALLY different. I’m really not teaching any catechism, our book is more about how to be a good person. Does the Catholic church seriously think that the next generations can lead the church on this tiny bit of teaching that they get? There are NO 6th graders in the catechism program that know the Hail Mary. Only a handful know the Our Father. I am so steamed! We have a 4 yr old and my bigger concern here is that she’ll actually be taught the catechism when she goes to catholic school. How do I find out what each school around us is doing? we are stuck between 2 choices now. the tuition at one is 1/3 of the other, but I don’t want that to be a factor. Any advice on how to get the “goods” about each? thanks-twk


The Catholic Church teaches that PARENTS are the primary educators of their children in the faith.

The parish serves as a supplement, not a replacement.

If you do not like the textbooks, get involved in changing them. Typically the diocese has a list of approved textbooks from which parishes can choose. Get that list, investigate the books, and find a better book. Then, attend parish council or education committee meetings and make suggestions. Make an appointment with the priest to discuss *specific *concerns you have about the current text.

Who are you steamed at? I hope you are steamed at their parents for not teaching them their prayers.

Ask to review the curriculum at each school and ask a lot of questions when you tour the school.

Ask lots of questions. Review the curriculum. And, be involved at whatever school you do choose on an on-going basis.


Every CCD classroom/teacher needs three things. Copy of the CCC, Bibles, Rosaries.

There is no substitute for beginning each class with a Decade of the Rosary. If they do not know the prayers, this will assist in learning them. Have the kids take turns in explaining the mysteries or leading the Decade.

Take your lesson topic as a jumping off point - teach the kids to look up related Scripture and CCC references. Encourage discussion and questions.

Prizes are great - my 5th graders are asked to bring their Bible, homework sheet and Rosary to each class (if they do not own a Bible or Rosary, we give them one). As long as they bring any one of the three, they get some little prize.

Quiz Bowl is good, make up basic faith questions - kids LOVE to compete.


yes, please let me clarify…i AM steamed at most of the parents. I can’t believe that they are raising their kids in this faith and don’t even teach them about it. most of the parents are my age, and I strongly suspect that they don’t know a lot about the faith themselves. I remember during junior high and high school MANY MANY teens leaving the church and not being confirmed or leaving after high school. I guess that I just think it’s really sad that the Catholic faith that most kids know will be completely different from the Catholic faith that my generation and the one ahead of me know. many of our customs and tradiations seem to be falling away and that deeply saddens me…twk


I suggest that you begin each of your catechism classes by saying a decade of the Rosary. The parents may have let the children down, but sincere intercessary prayer may help overcome their parents failings.


Rosary, Bible, and a serious reassessment of the catechism book used. What about the “Faith and Life” series? What about the good old Baltimore Catechism? See if there’s any way you can swap out the current texts with another approved, more orthodox series.

But yes, if the children don’t know their basic prayers, then teach 'em. Stinks you have to, but at least they’ll know them.



I sympathize with you completely. I was in a similar situation 20 years ago when I began teaching CCD. I realized how much I didn’t know becaue of poor catechesis in CCD during the 60s and 70s (We sang "Jeremiah was a bullfrog…Joy to the world!) and how much my students didn’t know (7th graders not knowing prayers, etc.).

As for teaching CCD, other posters gave excellent suggestions. I had to supplement the lesson with a lot of materials. Also, don’t be afraid to give homework, worksheets, and tests. I truly believe that faith formation is multi-faceted and one of those facets is study. In increasing our knowledge, we increase our understanding, and, thus, increase our commitment. Tried and true study tools work with vocabulary and basic understanding. Also, sending home worksheets with kids where the parents have to help may bring catechesis to the home where it is needed. It also sends the message that faith formation is not just an hour a week obligation.

This situation also influenced our decision to send our children to a Catholic school. The Catholic school can combine the study aspect along with the practice of our faith. Daily prayer with their peers, weekly Mass, and seasonal devotionals are important in developing a personal faith and fostering the faith community.

When you are asking questions at your local Catholic school, ask for the school performance on the NCEA ACREs tests. These are tests developed by the National Catholic Education Association to evaluate religion programs. Our diocese administers these tests at various grade levels (in the Catholic schools, not in the CCD programs, hmmmm?) to detemine student’s knowledge. The school can give aggregate statistics. This could be an indicator as to how well the school does in teaching the faith.

A little story. My oldest son went to 13 years of Catholic school, K-12. His roommate at college also went to Catholic school and came from a devout Catholic family. The boys had a crucifix on the wall and statues of the Infant of Prague and Our Lady of Guadalupe. During his first weeks at college, a boy down the hall came into his room and asked: “Is that one of those Rosemarys” of the Rosary on the nightstand. My son and roommate were incredulous that someone wouldn’t know what a Rosay was, especially since the boy was Catholic! (CCD, Sacraments, Confirmation, etc.!!) My conclusion: His family not only failed him in teaching him our beautiful faith but so did his faith community.



While parents are SUPPOSED to be the primary teachers, the parents of today’s kids mostly know next to ZERO about anything Christian, much less specifically Catholic. The parents of my kids are pretty much seularized and think the Church is a service organization there to meet their needs. “I bring 'em, you teach 'em. I pick 'em up.” I stand in readiness for the day I am told to stand down because I am pushing too hard on the “You MUST go to Mass” and “You MUST go to Confession” buttons.

Glad you’re on board. The ball has been tossed to YOU. Teach them from where they are, even if you have to teach them the Hail Mary.

My 6th graders are learning the Our Father, Hail Mary & Sign of the Cross in Latin. It’s not in the book.


I have an 8th grade class and we don’t have books. We have Bibles and a guideline. In my class you must be baptized and must have made 1st Communion. I just got a new student in my class today when I asked her if she’s received 1st Communion? She said she didn’t know. I her explained what Communion was and she said Oh yeah that uh huh. Oh my goodness, I was so very saddened by this. Parents are the first catechists and some are doing an excellent job and some…well do the best they can with the knowledge that they have.

I had 2 students that didn’t have a rosary, 1 that doesn’t have a bible in their home, and for sure 1 student that doesn’t know the Hail Mary. sigh

I stress confession, the Ten Commandments, the How-to of the Mass thinks that were to be taught when they were in kindergarten. I have a lot of girls that want a Quinceañera and think go to class then I’m done this is why we stress that class doesn’t count if you don’t attend mass.

Have faith my Sister as I am sure you do! You will have students that hunger for the Lord.

God Bless you and I will be praying for you



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