Was I off-based to say in committee meeting?


#1

We were discussing the Confirmation program at faith formation committee last night. When a small group of us were insisting that there should be some basic catechism knowledge required (e.g. gifts of Holy Spirit), one person commented that we shouldn’t require too much or people would leave the Church to go to a Protestant Church. Here is where I might have gone wrong.

I said, “Let 'em go. They will be judged on a higher standard if they stay in the Church. And, we don’t want a bunch of lukewarm Catholics.”

Eyes rolled, heads shook in disgust, and there was momentary silence.

Was that a horrible thing to say?


#2

Could be worse… you could have been called the religious gestapo. :mad: I got called that by a priest for just informing the women at our CWOC meeting of reasons to go to a Penance service during Lent (like missing mass for no good reason, etc).

My vote is that you might have been able to phrase it in a more charitable manner. Being able to question the Confimante’s for basic knowledge isn’t going to make them jump ship. It’s going to make them realize that this is a huge step and one they should make with full knowledge and understanding instead of the mentality and actions of one “checking the block.” KWIM?

Don’t worry about the silence though… it might have made them think for a second. :smiley:

Just my two cents.


#3

Well, I don’t think so. Sounds like something I would say. Protestants are very lenient and because I have recently returned to the church after a long absence, my friends are non-catholics. Being a Catholic is not easy. It’s work. Daily. My friends cannot understand that. I think you may have given the people in that meeting something to think about. :thumbsup:


#4

Theresa–It was not a horrible thing to say. Perhaps to the “politically correct” set, it was not terribly politically correct. You probably shouldn’t get in the habit of frequently saying controversial things. But every once in a while, and said with conviction, makes people think. I bet you planted a seed. :thumbsup:


#5

I am continually frustrated by the tendency to dumb down religion to make it acceptable to the young.

I see the Mormon Missionaries going door to door, I see the Moonies doing their thing in the airports, and I know that people are attracted by that which requires effort. If it doesn’t cost it isn’t worth much.


#6

(Hey, wacky&wonderful–Great minds think alike! We were posting similar thoughts and the same emoticon at the same time! That’s wacky!)


#7

But dear JMJ Theresa, where would they go? Sounds like you were speaking from love of Church to me. I’m glad you stood up for what should be said more-but maybe phrased a little differently :smiley: !


#8

I’d have been AMENing you…

This is really sad, I wish you could just come over to our Parish. DS is in his final year of Confirmation prep (diocese requires 2 years of preparation).

Last Sunday, Father had all of the parents meet, and DH took pages of notes ‘cause Fr preached up a storm! He stated that we as parents are responsible to speak up if we know our child is not ready for confirmation, if they are not serious about it or if they do not understand it. We are also responsible to make sure they are prepared with Confession before Confirmation. He stressed this is NOT a social event, this is a Sacrament.

Our folder is at home, but here is a list of some of the requirements:

2 years prep – for CCD students, this is class every Sunday during the school year. For Catholic School students, they are required to attend the Sunday class for 6 weeks before confirmation in addition to their regular religion class.

Verified Mass attendance (sign the book in the Sacristy after Mass, if you are out of town – you have to bring a bulletin from Mass where you attended. “Sick” requires the parents to provide written absence note.)

Researched essay on chosen Saint.

Letter to the Bishop.

Test – this is a tough test, they have begun having some pre-tests and DS scored tops of the class last week…

Interview with Father

Church Service hours

Community Service hours

Prayer hours

Retreat

Info sheet from Confirmation Sponsor, verification from the Sponsor’s home Parish that they are in good standing.

I pray that your group “sees the light” – and you keep letting the light shine!


#9

[quote=tamccrackine]Could be worse… you could have been called the religious gestapo. :mad: I got called that by a priest for just informing the women at our CWOC meeting of reasons to go to a Penance service during Lent (like missing mass for no good reason, etc).

[/quote]

Wow - I heard rumors about the SW USA section of CWOC/MCCW (for you non-military people - Catholic Women of the Chapel and the Military Council of Catholic Women) having some difficult priests. I guess this is an example of it. BTW - I really enjoyed all that I learned in CWOC/MCCW and because of people like yourself, I really began to understand the Church’s teachings.


#10

Nope, you’re right on target. Those people are flat out wrong too, btw. One of the MAJOR reasons people convert to the Catholic faith or return to it, is the knowledge available to them about the Faith. Not feel good blarney, but genuine truth and spiritual growth. THAT is what so many are searching for and desperately reach for in their hours of need.

Yeah, some people leave the Church because they don’t want to suffer the growing pains and truth hurts too. That’s okay. It’s called purification. Let them go. Because even if they stay, they won’t really be with the Church anyhow. Better to let them go with truth and maybe some day return, than to risk souls on the alters of ignorance and pride.


#11

Let their eyes roll at you!! Didn’t Pope Benedict comment (when Cardinal Ratzinger) that the church may likely lose many of it’s members in order to return to orthodoxy? I’ll have to search for the actual quote but it was something to that effect (pruning perhaps?).

I’ve always wanted to escape Michigan’s long winters but I’ve also found anohter reason to leave and move to Arkansas:

[quote=kage_ar]He stated that we as parents are responsible to speak up if we know our child is not ready for confirmation, if they are not serious about it or if they do not understand it. We are also responsible to make sure they are prepared with Confession before Confirmation. He stressed this is NOT a social event, this is a Sacrament.

Our folder is at home, but here is a list of some of the requirements:

2 years prep – for CCD students, this is class every Sunday during the school year. For Catholic School students, they are required to attend the Sunday class for 6 weeks before confirmation in addition to their regular religion class.

Verified Mass attendance (sign the book in the Sacristy after Mass, if you are out of town – you have to bring a bulletin from Mass where you attended. “Sick” requires the parents to provide written absence note.)

Researched essay on chosen Saint.

Letter to the Bishop.

Test – this is a tough test, they have begun having some pre-tests and DS scored tops of the class last week…

Interview with Father

Church Service hours

Community Service hours

Prayer hours

Retreat

Info sheet from Confirmation Sponsor, verification from the Sponsor’s home Parish that they are in good standing.

[/quote]

That’s awesome! love to raise my kids in this diocese…


#12

Good for you! :thumbsup:


#13

kage_ar:

This is exactly how my parish handles Confirmation candidates, also! :thumbsup:


#14

I think that it is a common misconception that the more people understant the Catholic Catechism, the more critical they will be of the Church, the more turned off they will be. I find the opposite to be true, especially when Biblical references are also given. I think it instills a greater understanding and appreciation for the Church. Better to know it before converting so they will understand what they are doing rather than find out later and possibly regret their decision.

Makes total sense to me. Stand up and be brave, that doesn’t mean you are being judgemental. You are being a good lay-person. We all need to be as involved. As long as you are being kind and fair, they have no reason not to want Truth to be taught!


#15

The only problem I see with what you did is your lack of confidence. It would have been better if you would have really let 'em have it for rolling their eyes. But, sometimes we don’t have the arms and ammo we need at our disposal, and in your situation I can say I would have done the same thing.

G.K. Chesterton said, “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” So what if there was a more tactful way of putting things? Under the circumstances, and given the talents we have for speaking off the cuff, sometimes we don’t come off sounding real suave. Big deal. What Chesterton is saying is that it is far better to be accused of bungling our job than to be accused of delinquency in our duties.

Now, best to prepare for the “next time”. Maybe ask something like, “Is there a difference between attracting them into a false Catholic Church, and scaring them away from the real Catholic Church? Either way, no one gets converted to the Catholic Faith.”

What these people are proposing is about as foolish as a mother, believing that homecooked food is more nutritious, serves greasy hamburgers and french fries at home, because otherwise her child will just eat at MacDonald’s. The reason homecooked food is better is because you can get broccoli and brussel sprouts at home and not at MacDonalds!!!


#16

a more thorough, helpful suggestion to this committee might have been: why don’t we look at what canon law says about proper disposition for youth receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, what the US bishops say, and what our local bishop says. What are the guidelines in this diocese? What texts and confirmation programs are approved? What is required in the way of catechesis, service, retreats etc.? Why don’t we do this ecclesially, with the mind of the Church, rather than on our own bat as a committee (with what authority?).


#17

Maybe you could have phrased it better; but the argument that young people leave RC for something less demanding needs questioning. I would suggest they leave because they know too little.


#18

[quote=JMJ Theresa]We were discussing the Confirmation program at faith formation committee last night. When a small group of us were insisting that there should be some basic catechism knowledge required (e.g. gifts of Holy Spirit), one person commented that we shouldn’t require too much or people would leave the Church to go to a Protestant Church. Here is where I might have gone wrong.

I said, “Let 'em go. They will be judged on a higher standard if they stay in the Church. And, we don’t want a bunch of lukewarm Catholics.”

Eyes rolled, heads shook in disgust, and there was momentary silence.

Was that a horrible thing to say?
[/quote]

I can’t believe the rude and immature responses that you received from your fellow committee members!!! I’m glad you spoke your mind, but maybe you could have said it in a more charitable fashion. Perhaps at the next meeting, you could “apologize” for HOW you said it, and then explain your position a little more. Include things like “kids aren’t going to think Confirmation is important, if we don’t give them something to work towards” “Confirmation is so important in that it makes our young people Christian Soldiers—we have to give them as much formation as possible so that they can evangelize others”. That kind of thing. God bless you as you try to work with this committee to give the kids in your parish the religious formation that they deserve.


#19

[quote=asquared]a more thorough, helpful suggestion to this committee might have been: why don’t we look at what canon law says about proper disposition for youth receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, what the US bishops say, and what our local bishop says. What are the guidelines in this diocese? What texts and confirmation programs are approved? What is required in the way of catechesis, service, retreats etc.? Why don’t we do this ecclesially, with the mind of the Church, rather than on our own bat as a committee (with what authority?).
[/quote]

Exactly! This is what we were trying to get to. Our committee is trying to evaluate all our sacramental prep programs to see if they are measuring up to the guidelines. The Youth minister who administers the program and one other committee member in particular didn’t want to evaluate the program. The sad thing is our Archdiocese guidelines are very vague. We never did in fact get to discuss the guidelines because all the resistance to even looking at the program. The archdiocese mandates instructional time, a retreat, service hours, and includes a text. So, we do meet those general guidelines. What our concern is that our candidates are trully prepared to live out the sacrament of confirmation. Do they know enough doctrine to be soldiers of Christ? They must be in a state of grace to receive the sacrament. Do they know the difference between mortal sin and venial sin?

The youth minister’s position is that it is his sole responsibility to determine the form and content of the program within those guidelines without any oversight by our committee. Aside from wanting to improve our program, our committee’s goal is that our sacramental programs will be solid independent of whoever is administering it. So, even as staff changes, we will still have strong programs. We also want the sacramental preparation programs to be a cohesive program of formation from Baptism to Sacrament of matrimony.

Sacramental programs are a good place to address catechesis for candidates and parents.

I think a faith formation committee in a parish should have say in the administering of a parish program. But, maybe I’m wrong.

When one committee member said that if we try to require learning doctrine, they would be bored, our associate pastor, who was sitting in on the meeting, cried, “I hope you are not saying that my Bride is boring!”

Isn’t that neat?


#20

“The youth minister’s position is that it is his sole responsibility to determine the form and content of the program within those guidelines without any oversight by our committee.”

Ahhh - at our Parish, the Youth Minister is in charge of the Youth group and all thier activites - they meet regularly on Wed evenings. for traditional youth group things - a combination of social and learning time.

Confirmation Prep falls under the DRE, classes are on Sunday mornings during the regular RE time - they have Confirmation instructors who are not the Youth Minister.

Neither group conflicts in time or scheduling with the other, not all Confirmation canidates participate with youth group and vice versa - for us, it works pretty well! Sacremental Prep is many things, it is not the socializing that Youth group is…

My son is part of both, it is a good balance.


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