Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why do you...?

I'll be teaching an apologetics class to the Religious Ed students of my parish tomorrow night.  Thankfully, I got a list of questions from the kids so that I can be somewhat prepared.  

Many of the questions start with the phrase 'why do you...?'  It's a weird way for Catholic kids to begin questions when it is for their religion class.  It would be natural for it begin with 'why do we...?'  And that's when it hit me, I live in Mississippi and Catholics are a small minority.  I've heard stories from parents about the abuse Catholic kids get from Protestant classmates in this part of the country.  Toto...I don't think we live in Catholic Chicago any more.  

I find it a shame that Catholic kids are harassed by classmates, but I think the bigger shame is that the Church has let these kids down with very poor religious ed programs.  Our kids don't know how to express what they believe and that is a shame.

Back in the day, my CCD classes were very poor with the exception of one incredible teacher in 8th grade.  I do not mean to offend any of the wonderful people who give of their time to teach our youth.  My complaint lies with the books that were given to us.  They were filled with the Rainbow and Sunshine Jesus, which offered very little substance.  Don't get me wrong, it is vitally important that each person knows that Jesus loves her, but not at the expense of also sharing the richness of the faith and the responsibility that accompanies the love of Christ. 

I am not suggesting that my teaching one class will change the future of the Church, but I pray there will come a day when Catholic kids will know what to say when their friends at school corner them and say, "Why do you worship Mary?'  "Why do you pray to statues?"  "Why do you go to a priest for Confession?"  Our kids should know the Truth and how to respond.  

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