Faith Formation (CCD) was quite nice yesterday. We were decorating Christmas boxes (filled with notes of what we were and would be giving to Christ this season) for an Advent presentation next weekend. And while we decorated, we talked about whatever came up. We talked about God and science, about what it meant to be Catholic and Christian and how to handle others not believing we believe. The subject matter went wherever the kids took it, and it was a beautiful little conversation. Some expressed how they wished our parish had a youth program and that some were involved in Protestant youth groups because of our lack. It was a good class.
Youth need times like these to try to find answers to questions they have or about which they are curious. Something less formal. I try to incorporate some of this in every class, but other lessons must be gotten through as well.
How do we properly catechize our youth when our catechetical programs end just as our children are getting to be of the age to fall in love with their God? Some of the push back I've received is that some suppose none would show up when they didn't have something like Confirmation to "hold over" them (which is another problem in and of itself). But while we would love 100% attendance, it would be meaningful for those who need to be there to be there. And other church groups have more than proven the possibilities and merits of such programs. Catechesis - learning - doesn't end when we're 14, but some of our 14-year-olds don't know that because our very program seems to suggest otherwise. You don't graduate from walking with the Spirit and growing in grace. And sometimes you just need to know that others are present when you need them.