Thursday, September 27, 2012

Catholic Religious Education (CRE) Week #2

Happy Friday everyone. It's that time again where I talk about my next class I am teaching as a Catechist, and recap last week. As you recall, last week my 7th grade class learned about the Liturgical Year. Some were worried that my class was too basic for 7th grade and if they went to Mass weekly, they'd know it all. Hearing that I was a little worried.

Luckily for me (unluckily for those kids) only 1 (yes 1) of my kids knew a great deal about. That kid is definitely my favorite. I know you're not supposed to have favorites, but he just seems excited to be there and has a thirst for God. His parents were also the only ones who came in the class to introduce themselves. Future priest? I sure hope so.

I almost had another mini-catastrophe. I had five people register for class. It's a bit of a small number, but manageable and not too rowdy. However, nine kids showed up!! NINE!! Luckily, I had enough stuff prepared for ten, but I definitely wasn't expecting to get close to that number. My aide also was somewhat helpful. Still not 100% sure on how I feel about her, but she can at least write neatly on the board and I might have her be the enforcer/one who tells the kids to be quiet.

On to this week though. I have to cover two chapters this week, but luckily they are the early chapters and should tie together nicely. In Chapter One, we learn about God and how we know Him, and in Chapter Two, we learn about Scripture and Tradition. While looking over my outline for this week to post, I noticed that I had a lot of reading. Sorry, kids need to read! But the outline won't be entirely helpful if it just tells you to read page 15, and you're wondering what page 15 says, so I included some of the keywords on the pages in the outline. What I am most pleased with for this week is the craft I have planned.

It's inspired by St. Iranaeus of Lyons (Patristics..WOO!) He compared a heretic to a thief who took a mosaic (picture made up of little tiles) of a king and rearranged it to look like a fox or a dog. So I am going to make my own mosaic out of construction paper, probably of a cross. Then, I am going to hand out a blank sheet of paper and exactly the same number and color of construction paper squares I used, and tell them I want them to make a picture from the squares.

But the catch is that they have to make the same picture I did without seeing mine. Then, I am going to have them show me their pictures when done. It would be nice if someone has the same picture as me, but doubtful. So I will explain to them that our Catholic faith and beliefs is the Cross. And all those pictures of other things are people who came along and misinterpreted it or changed it either on accident or purpose. And that we are blessed to have three things that help us know what we believe is right - Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.



  • Preparation for the Lesson
    • Bring Bible, YouCat, Catechism and Icon of the Crucifixion, prayer shoe box.
      • Set these up on a desk and make a prayer space.
        • Write the following on the board:
          • How do you know that God exists?
  • Introduction
    • Good morning, I would like you to turn to page 11. I need 4 readers.
  • State that God created us to know Him.
    • How do you know that God exists?
    • Review their answers
  • Chapter 1
    • Have someone read page 15
      • Divine Revelation
        • God told us He exists.
        • He did it in the Old and New Testament.
      • Ask them what Salvation means?
        • Being saved from our sins with the potential to go to Heaven.
    • Page 16
      • Faith – What is it?
        • The gift to believe in God. All our given this gift, but not all accept it.
    • Page 17
      • The Church
        • The Catholic Church has been around 2,000 years.
  • Chapter 2
    • Hand out construction paper mosaic pieces, white sheet of paper, and glue.
      • Allow kids 10-15 minutes to work on this.
    • How do you know that what you believe is true?
    • Our truths about the Catholic faith also came from somewhere. Let’s turn in our books to page 24 and begin reading to discover where they came from.
      • Write the keywords on the board as they come to them and review with them after each passage.
        • Scripture
          • What is it?
          • What does it mean to be divinely inspired?
        • Tradition
          • What is it?
          • Where did it come from?
        • Magisterium
          • What is it?
          • Who makes up the Magisterium?
    • I’d like you to take your Bibles and turn to the Table of Contents
      • As you can see there are 73 books in the entire Bible, 46 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament
        • Y’all should have learned about the Old Testament last year, so let’s talk briefly about the New Testament.
          • The first four books are called the Gospels, which means Good News. These four books are most of what we are studying.
          • Next, is the Acts of the Apostles. This book contains a history of the Apostles and Early Church.
          • After that are 21 Epistles or Letters written to specific people or churches. 14 of these were written by St. Paul and the other 7 by other Apostles or Disciples.
          • Lastly, is the Book of Revelation, which contains information on how to celebrate the Mass as well as encouragement for early Christians.
        • So this collection of books right here, the Bible, is one of the legs on which our Faith and Truth is built.
        • Allow for questions if any.
    • Next, I would like to show you this picture. Look at it and pass it around. This is called an icon, and an icon is one form of Tradition passed down to us through the ages.
      • Icons are prayers in pictures that serve to convey a truth about a specific saint or story of our Faith. We will be using various icons throughout the year.
    • Another form of tradition is oral tradition or word of mouth. Stories told from ancient times were passed down from generation to generation until they were written down. That is how much of the Old Testament came to be written.
      • However, it wasn’t only Biblical stories that were passed down but the way which we do things. The Sacraments are another example of Tradition. We Baptize people today and receive the Eucharist today the same way they did 2,000 years ago.
        • Allow for questions if any.
    • Lastly, I would like for you to pass around this book. It is called the YouCat. The YouCat is short for Youth Catechism. And a Catechism is a summary of beliefs in question and answer form.
      • The Magisterium wrote the YouCat for people your age, because the other Catechism wasn’t easily readable to y’all. If you don’t have one, I’d encourage you to ask your parents to get you one.
      • It is a valuable book that answers some hard questions, a lot of which we won’t get to cover this year.
      • Allow for questions if any.
  • Conclusion
    • I would encourage each of you to read through the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
      • You could read one chapter a week and do it with your family.
      • By doing this, you’ll get a better idea about the life of Jesus and the life of the early Church.
    • Next week we will be talking about the Trinity.
    • Have a good rest of the week, and I look forward to seeing y’all next week.