March 13, 2011


It seems like every Sunday I come back from Mass with a post to write about a conversation with some child or other. It helps me to notice that one of the things I miss from parish ministry is the presence of children in my daily life: the chance to work with altar servers so as to build their confidence and pride in doing something well, the natural desire for goodness in my young catechumens, the challenge and privilege of preaching to the schoolchildren, the funny little boy who liked to imitate the gestures of the priest at Mass, the very proper little girl who would politely present her gluten-free altar bread before Mass and then wait patiently for her little personal pyx to be returned to her afterward.

But on to today's edification from the young. In the sacristy before Mass, one of the altar children showed up and placed a folder on the vesting table. "What's in the folder?" I asked.

"Stuff for CCD,*" she answered.

"Oh yes," I continued, "and what are you learning about?"

"Different stuff...but mainly about Jesus."


*I never cease to be amazed by the sticking power of the term "CCD" for programs of childrens' religious education in general. As Fr. Kselman, who taught us Old Testament and was one of our favorite teachers, always liked to remind us, sacred language is conservative in nature and tends to preserve itself.

1 comment:

for narnia said...

hi Fr. C! how interesting that you experienced an "edification from the young," as you put it. yesterday, i went to visit my 5-year-old nephew, Eric. during the course of the afternoon, as we were playing, he mentioned that his kindergarten teacher had the "black stuff on her forehead last week and that she gave up all sweets." so, i asked him what he meant by what he had just shared with me. apparently, his teacher had explained a bit about it being Ash Wednesday and that we give something up. so, i asked Eric what the reason was that his teacher gave up sweets and Eric simply said to me that "she did it all for Jesus." i found this so edifying and encouraging, especially given the fact that my nephew goes to public school and that i may be the only or one of few persons in his life that talks to him and reads books with him about Jesus. my nephew even asked me if i gave anything up and i told him that i, too, gave up sweets. i also explained a little bit more to him about why we make sacrifices for Jesus. and, later on in the day, Eric said to me "you know what, Tara? and i said, "what?" and he said "I love you." and i said to him, "i love you, too." and Eric gave me a big hug. it made my day! so, the message from a young one this lent is to "do it all for Jesus." it can't get much clearer than that.
PAX! ~tara t~