During the school year, almost every Wednesday night you can find me up at church teaching kids about the Catholic religion. I teach the 2nd graders, so it's definitely not brain surgery by any means, but I do feel like I have actually learned quite a bit about my faith just by teaching them the basics about it. I am a "cradle" Catholic meaning I was born (baptized as an infant) & raised Catholic my entire life. My faith has always been an important part of who I am & does influence my viewpoints on things (family, politics, life in general, etc.), however, there are/were many things that I do automatically just because that is what I have always done. Becoming a catechist (PSR or Public School Religion teacher which I means I teach religious ed to kids who don't attend Catholic schools) made me actually have to THINK about those things & why I/we do them as Catholics. Besides making me think about my faith, it has also brought me much joy because of some of the things the kids do & say. So in honor of Catechist Sunday (today!), here are 2 of my favorites.
1. We were learning about the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the first of which is the "Agony in the Garden". If you are unfamiliar with it, it is about the pain/agony Jesus was feeling & the praying he was doing (this is where the "Our Father" came from) in a garden as he was awaiting the time of his betrayal & death. The question posed to the students was "What was Jesus doing in the garden?" (answer we were looking for was 'praying') One of my the students looked at me innocently & answered
"Picking vegetables?" I liked the answer, but I highly doubt that vegetables were being thought about at the time.
2. One Wednesday night, I had a student walk in with a mohawk. I could tell that he was very proud of it, so I asked him about it. He said "I've wanted one for years & mom & dad finally let me have one!" (It made me wonder how long he had actually wanted one since he was only 7 years old at the time!) :)