Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preparing for Classes

In many parishes Catechetical Sunday is the start of religious education or faith formation or parish school of religion classes or CCD...oh, please not CCD, it is truly my least favorite thing to call classes.  And I'm sure I've left off more than one name for classes.
I'll tell you what I think, (my friends are all laughing at this point, since when don't I?).  Classes are what you take in school to learn math, science, English, etc... or when you are out of school you take classes in cake decorating, sewing, karate.  Those types of classes, while they may have an impact on your life, do nto have the purpose of shaping or forming you into a person who is more math-like or craft-like.  The goal in those classes is not to become like a cake but rather how to make a cake look pretty.
Hence, I dislike calling religious education classes, especially for children and youth, 'classes'.  The goal of most programs is to help form or shape those participating into better Christians and Catholics; to become more Christ like internally, not just externally.
Here is the goal, written out for the parish, of our faith formation program: "The purpose of Faith Formation is to teach the truths of the Catholic faith, learn to apply them to our daily lives and grow closer to God.  We will use a variety of experiences to make our faith come alive for the children and youth of St. Edward. "  If we don't apply the truths of our faith and grow closer to God then we have ceased to form and moved into educating. 
This does not mean we don't teach prayers or what the Eucharistic is and how to go to confession and how to behave at Mass.  We do all of those things, but they are not an end in and of themselves.  

So, classes formation starts on September 16 in my neck of the woods.  And the catechists will be ready.  (Did you notice that, catechists, not teachers.) Words have meanings, so I like to use the right words.

2 comments:

Ebeth said...

Absolutely! classes here have already begun, this year Sr. has asked me to teach the Adult RCIA and the children's ages 7-10 baptism classes.

Humbled.......and scared!

deanna said...

Wow, big job. I hope we have an RCIA group this year, time will tell.