Religious Education Classes


#1

**My Son is in the 9th grade. We have no Catholic Middle or Catholic High School in our town. He attended Catholic elementary school. 9th and 10th grade religion classes are devoted to Confirmation. They are Confirmed in the spring of the 10th grade year. My concern is that this year my son is unable to
hear in class (along with many other students) because of
about 5 students who continue to talk out loud all through class!!
They have been warned by their teacher and other teachers, sent to the religious ed. directors office.
My husband and I find this extremely upsetting!! Anyone have
any ideas on what to do!! We have also complained to the
religious ed. director!! :banghead:

**


#2

You can’t do anything. The director needs to do it.

I’m guessing that the kids talking do not want to be there in the first place. If this is the case RCIA director needs to talk with the kids parents about forcing them to attend. If they don’t want to be there, they should not be forced to go. Certainly it is sinful to proclaim you are accepting the teachings of the church when you don’t want to. Why make the kids sin?

Even if the parents insist on them attending, the kids should not be allowed to continue to disrupt the class either.

My mother-in-law was faced with this situation. Her daughter did not want to go to the classes. Her daughter would skip the classes and not participate when she was there. Eventually my mother-in-law realized she couldn’t make her daughter want to be confirmed and left it to God.

Her daughter (my wife) and I were confirmed this past Easter. Eighteen years after she skipped those classes. It may take a long time, but those kids need to make that decision for themselves. Children are done a great disservice when they are made to go through confirmation classes and even complete them without the desire to do so.


#3

We have a policy at our parish that if children are disruptive, the parents are notified and they have two choices: 1) The parent can attend the class with their child and keep them in order, 2) The child is removed from the class.

It’s not fair to the other kids or to the teacher. Options are given for home-study, but then the child must pass a test in order to receive the Sacrament to assure the studying was completed.


#4

While I would agree that a child or teenager who continues to be disruptive even after correction needs to be removed for the sake of the others, I don’t know that I would allow a child to skip confirmation class just because the child didn’t care about being confirmed.

As long as the child does not cause problems, it will not hurt anyone for him or her to go through the program. Ultimately the child will have to decide if he/she will actually be confirmed.

But I think for most kids there is value in attending the classes even if the they are not eventually confirmed. Many, if not most, teenagers begin confirmation classes with ambivalent or even hostile feelings. After a couple of years in a good program these teens can come to desire confirmation. Even if not, they’ve learned a few things about the Church and have probably completed some kind of service project. Those are reasonable things for a parent to expect from any teen.


#5

In our parish the parents are called after the third warning, and the child cannot return to class unless and until accompanied by a parent. It usually only takes one call. The parents sign and agree to this policy at registration. Same with cell phones, objectionable attire etc., 3 strikes and out. Those who chose to disregard the rules for the classroom are given opportunity for home study or on-line study, with regular evaluations. So far, only one family has kept up with this commitment and is fulfilling the requirements, their daughter will be confirmed with the rest of the class.

General advice to parents who have problems, criticisms with your parish CCD/ Confirmation program: volunteer to be part of the process. You will know for yourself what goes on, instead of taking your kid’s word for it, and you will be part of the solution.


#6

I teach the confirmation class in my parish, and I also have had students that were very disruptive. If my talkinf to them doesn’t help I talk to them and their perents, and they are told that if it doesn’t stop they will be expelled from the confirmation program; if their bad behavior did not stop, they were expelled.

I have had parents ask to come to class to keep their children in line; however at that age, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade, I (and my pastor) feel that if they will only behave if their parents are present, then they are not ready for confirmation. I don’t believe in enabeling them, they need to take responsibility for their behavior and they are old enough to do so.
Do I enjoy kicking them out?
No, I don’t, but as I tell them the choice is theirs, if you want to stay - behave, if you want to leave - don’t behave. They make the choice, not me.


#7

[quote=SMHW]But I think for most kids there is value in attending the classes even if the they are not eventually confirmed.
[/quote]

In my admittedly limited experience in the church, there is an expectation that the child will be confirmed if he/she completes the class. I know too many former catholics who felt forced to be confirmed at the completion of the class. Their parents made the decision for them.

I agree that education is generally not bad and kids sometimes need to do things they don’t like. There is a balancing act here though. Parents are also responsible for educating their children. Too many leave it to the religious ed. program at church.

Sadly, it leads to kids being confirmed who don’t want to be confirmed.


#8

our confirmation guidelines state quite clearly that canonically the youth are considered adults for the purposes of accepting confirmation and they cannot be forced to receive the sacrament. They also state that if a student cannot or will not observe the rules of conduct they are not giving evidence of a worthy disposition for reception of the sacrament, and a conference with the DRE, pastor, parent and student is indicated before the student can continue the program.


#9

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