Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Friday, February 09, 2007

"Catch-up" Sacramental Preparation

I have a huge task upon me. Well, huge in my opinion, and huge in the sense of importance and potential for impacting peoples lives.

I had to stop teaching catechism this semester because catechism classes were at the same time as an evening course that I have to take before graduating (and since this is my last semester I couldn't put it off. . . ). The director of the parish religious education program however contacted me and asked if I would be able to help prepare some children who are "behind schedule" on their sacraments to make their First Confession and receive their First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil.

I just spoke with the person in charge of the catechism program yesterday and here's the deal . . . I have six children, ranging in ages from 9 to 12 years old who have never been to Confession nor received Communion. I have five one hour sessions to prepare them for both these sacraments before Holy Week. Our first session is next Thursday.

If you were me and had five hours to teach these children to teach them essentials of these two great sacraments what would you do? How would you approach this challenge? I want it to be interesting for the children and I want them to understand that this isn't a "one time event" but that these sacraments sould become a central part of their life. Unfortunately, I also realize that these children have a very limited background in the Faith and many of them haven't grown up going to Mass on a regular basis up to now (otherwise they would have already received these sacraments). The reality that they are not familiar with the basics of the Faith nor with the Mass makes this task all the more challenging.

Any tips or suggestions?