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.