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Joined: Nov 2007
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I came across this article today and thought I'd post it here as this is a topic we've discussed on many occasions. There are some tools here that someone might be able to use at their local church.
I'm curious as to what other people think.

http://crossingnineveh.blogspot.com/2007/08/mass-vs-sunday-school-for.html

In Christ,
Aaron

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Interesting indeed. I firmly believe that Catholics are very guilty of not reading the Bible enough. For many, anything outside what they hear from Mass/Liturgy is extra work. Its easy to see why Catholics can be easy "prey" for Protestants, Mormons and the like trying to convert us by interpreting passages out of the Bible.

I also believe we Catholics often complain about the church not feeling like a family. Granted, that is really not what we are there for (arguably, we're there for our own salvation), however, having a Sunday school for adults is a great way to also meet other members of the Church.

I know that the Byzcath church I used to attend is FILLED with people who need to be educated about their faith--not just show up to mass every week.

Is it enough to show up to church for a liturgy and really not understand your faith? I think not.



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when I was coming up, my stepfather's generation saw the Bible as a Protestant book. you needed the Bishop's permission to read it. the fact that I was given a Bible by a Protestant church scandalized the old man. it was the Mormons that got me reading the Bible. I have been reading it regular since I was fifteen. what may see ironic to some, is that when I was in university, the Protestants wanted this returned Catholic on their team to play Bible Trivia. I whipped some Prot behind, to be sure, more than once.I am sure that there are some trilobites out there who have my stepfather's attitude. we need to do all we can to change this attitude and get copies of the Bible into Catholic hands.another observation: I was involved in Newman Center at UT Chattanooga. I remember a few otherwise Bible illiterate Catholics talking about the Intro to the Bible courses they were taking. needless to say, the courses in both OT and NT were taught by liberal Prots. the Catholic kids thought they were so there with their knowledge that was pretty much a false knowledge about the Bible.
It may interest anyone out there that when I go to Mass, I bring my Scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) with me to follow the readings of the day. it keeps my language skills sharp. I am not asking that people learn Greek, Hebrew,or Aramaic, but they can get a good Catholic Bible and read the readings from that instead of some tatty missalette. perhaps that will start them on a habit that will stay for life.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Coming from a similar background I am in sympathy with Stan Williamís plea. With Roman Catholics, I do wonder how some of the organizational problems would be solved in order to have adult Sunday school. With multiple masses from morning to evening and little room for priests to be off their feet the whole day at some parishes, a class may have to be lay-initiated and led.

Personally, I would be glad to see such a program in my local parish. I hope to be able to teach such a class some day. But implementing post-confirmation education can be difficult and costly. What follows is full of questions, but they are some Iíve wondered about.

If laymen are to lead classes, by what authority do they teach? The Evangelical Sunday school teacher is often relied on to assure a good understanding and interpretation of scripture. A good understanding and interpretation takes patience and grace to achieve, and even more grace and much more patience to teach. Many of the Evangelical teachers I associated with had been trained in seminaries; some are self-trained but well read, while others shoot at the hip. How should Catholic lay-teachers be trained?

Should they create lesson plans on their own, jointly with the priest, or should they follow some nationally organized lesson plan? Then once that's set in motion, who pays for the material handed out in class?

If there are multiple masses, with the only space open in the afternoon, would it be better to have Sunday school on Saturday?

In the Baptist church I grew up in, Sunday school was seen as important and obligatory as attending the main service. They had classes for older adults, single adults, married adults and young adults.

A very energetic priest with a lot of time on his hand could do this. In Houston, we are having a vocation crisis and our priests and deacons are bearing a heavy cross as it is to meet the sacramental needs of their parish. I would like to see some reform, but when the sacraments take priority I imagine it will be some time before these classes are a main component in the church life.

Terry

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Quote
Interesting indeed. I firmly believe that Catholics are very guilty of not reading the Bible enough. For many, anything outside what they hear from Mass/Liturgy is extra work. Its easy to see why Catholics can be easy "prey" for Protestants, Mormons and the like trying to convert us by interpreting passages out of the Bible.


When I was stationed in Germany the chaplain handed me the New Testament (the Good News Bible). I started to read it and it was hard to put down. The Bible (King James) always sounded so stilted (when I was in grade school the day always began with the Pledge of allegiance, the Lord's Prayer and a bible reading (Old Testament.) I couldn't believe how interesting, inspiring and easy-to-read the bible was!

Many, many bible experts (and not so expert)put down the Good News Bible, but I recommend it as the first Bible a person should read.

Fr. Deacon Paul

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TERRY:

Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

A few thoughts . . .

Quote
. . . implementing post-confirmation education can be difficult and costly.


You may have an uphill battle with cradle Catholics locked into a very legalistic mindset in which they have the idea that once they are confirmed they are "freed" from having to do any more study of the Faith, the Bible, or anything else. IMHO that is why many who later feel the need for deepening their faith with more study are easily lead into anything that comes along calling itself spiritual or advanced.

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If laymen are to lead classes, by what authority do they teach? . . . How should Catholic lay-teachers be trained?


In my diocese, no one may teach without the necessary credentials from the diocese. This includes several years of courses and the reception of the credential. The problem is that people who come forward accept anything that is presented to them uncritically and we have a flock of people who have almost lost their own faith in the process.

Some of the things I've posted here before and asked for criticial opinions about are much of what people are given. For example, the approach to Scripture that says that "We really don't know what Jesus said or taught. Scripture was written for certain communities and the things recorded are meant to teach what the author wanted them to "hear" is part of this training. Many New Age practices and techniques are also part of this training, too.

So I've come to the conclusion that without a solid foundation much of what is offered is not only without value but may also be spiritually dangerious. And I'm not alone. My current and previous spiritual fathers have privately lamented these same things but no one seems to know what to do about them.

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 07/12/08 01:11 PM.

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