Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just For A Moment

Saturday at the Vigil Mass, (or is it the Anticipatory Mass?) my students made their First Holy Communion. I was very anxious for the day. In the middle of it all I got the Creeping Crud. I haven't had a cold in about three years, and so this one hit me on Wednesday. I knew it was coming, my throat was hurting, but I managed to get through Thursday and most of Friday without feeling it too badly. Then Friday, my asthma kicked in and I was miserable all night, which lingered into Saturday. Still, the cold wasn't bad. In fact, I thought it was actually allergies because of the wheezing, which was because of my asthma. But no... by Sunday and Monday I was down for count.

Ok, way TMI you're probably thinking, if you're still reading thus far. The First Communion. You are wanting to know all about that, right?

Saturday was truly a wonderful day. The children looked beautiful, the girls especially. It was fun seeing the little tomboys dressed up in pretty clothes. Two boys wore white tuxes, two others looked really handsome in dark suits. All my girls wore simple dresses, a few wore veils and some went without. (Pardon the aside, I think if I'm blessed with a daughter someday, and she even wants to wear my old dress, I'd like her to wear a mantilla instead of a veil. I never cover my hair in Mass and probably never will but I like mantillas on girls better than veils.)

Ok, pardon the digression, but I was just setting the scene.

There were times that I actually considered quitting teaching Catechism. I really doubted my ability as a teacher. There were some bad, frustrating days, but then some good days. Somehow I manged to connect with the children and they with me. As I posted through the year, I had doubts that I could teach them anything, but now I know that I did. They taught me a whole lot more than I expected. I guess in a way, I fell in love with them. This class was a pretty rambunctious group of children. On Saturdays I had 21 children and on Mondays, I had 16, those were the ones who made their their First Communions.

We checked them in, I made sure all their parents were given the gifts I'd made for them, as the children couldn't carry in anything as they walked into the church. We took pictures, let them blow off some steam, use the bathroom before they had to line up. There were two classes and a few other children (siblings in different grades) receiving, so about thirty children came in together. One little girl arrived at 5:25 as they were all lined up to process into church. I really thought she wasn't going to make it. I was really worried and sad that she'd miss this day. At first she was one of my problem children and I thought I'd never get through to her, but near the end, she was giving me hugs and being really good. Mass was special for them. They all participated in the readings and the intentions.

What made me smile that during his homily, Father asked all the children questions and the children who raised their hands with answers were MINE. My students felt confident enough to answer his questions and they all gave him GOOD answers. That made me smile knowing that they learned. He gave a good homily as well. He was on their level and encouraged their parents to keep bringing them to Mass.

They lead us in a version of the Apostole's Creed, then brought up the gifts. It was wonderful to see them. Father did not do the Eurcharistic Prayer for Children, which I don't like and then they received. It made my heart jump for joy to watch them receive the Body and Blood for the first time. One of my student's mother's is an EOM and I saw tears in her eyes as her son went up to Father for the Body and then the deacon for the Blood.

Anyway, it was wonderful that I got to be part of this special day. I am proud of them and a bit sad that it's over. I have been asked to come back to teach and I will. I'm taking classes with a friend/mentor/other religious teacher and in time will be a certified Catechist. I think this is leading me to work toward teaching regular ed. one day. Now, that I have time I'm going to put together my application for the state's teacher certificate program. It's due mid July, but it seems like I'd need 21 hours to be certified. I hope and pray I'll be accepted without too much trouble.

Honestly, I'd like to teach at our regional Catholic school for a myriad of reasons, many of which, are only known to me, but we'll see if this is truly where God is leading me.

**Image taken from Aquinas and more online store.
I didn't feel comfortable putting up an actual image
of my students on the Internet without getting parental

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