Supposed to be teaching, “I feel like I’m babysitting!”

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The email was a cry from the heart from someone who really wanted to do the right thing: Dear Anchoress, I was asked to teach CCD to third graders making their First Reconciliation and First Communion. I am not a teacher. . .but having coached CYO (10-12-year-olds), and also having children (now adults), I agreed. I have been trying since September to "get into it." I prepare each week, sometimes for over a few hours. There are eleven kids in the class. They mostly show up, [but] if … [Read more...]

Thinking Outside the Box on Catholic Religious Education – UPDATED

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Joanne McPortland posted only two pieces in all of January, but they were both hum-dingers. Yesterday, she dared to ask "What is really wrong with Catholic Religious Education" and then answered her own question with: "just about everything". In fact, she says we're catechizing "the wrong damn people!" . . .part of the reason the adult formation classes and workshops we do offer are so poorly attended—adult catechesis just not a part of our regular expectation and structure. And … [Read more...]

A Dictatorship of Sentimentalism

In my column over at First Things, today, I recall Ann Rice "quitting Christianity" just about a year ago, and ponder why that might have happened: At the time Rice was writing, we were well into the summer of Tea Party unrest preceding the 2010 elections, and mainstream media were disseminating the usual mean Christian caricatures spouted in any election year. In 2010 patently false claims that Christians hate gays, women, and science had been given new force by the Proposition 8 drama in … [Read more...]

The Migratory Patterns of Nuns

BY MAX LINDENMAN Everybody loves nuns. A priest has to get lit up by a death squad before anyone will give him credit for parting his hair in a straight line, and the Church is still too unused to deacons to have set them any reliable benchmarks for success. But if one smile from a woman religious can't melt your heart, then brother, you ain't got one. I am no exception to this general rule. The person who’s come closest to filling in as my spiritual advisor, my guru, both Blue Fairy … [Read more...]

The Yin and Yang of Catholic Young

It is fascinating to ponder the Taoist idea of Yin and Yang - the notion of an eternal cycle that grows to a fullness that must then transition to something else. I wrote about it once, in a manner of speaking, when thinking about the bliss of the Divine Office: A beautiful depiction of the constant-renewal of the world and all Creation in it, including you and me. I prayed the psalms and considered the slow lifting of the darkness on this overcast autumn day, the first-turning leaves, from … [Read more...]