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Archive for the ‘CCD’ Category

I am slowly deciphering some of the written materials left by the late Msgr. William J. Awalt. For review and comments, they are being posted at my BLOGGER PRIEST site.

http://bloggerpriest.com/category/awalt-papers/

Msgr. Awalt was the pastor of St. Ann’s Church in NW Washington , DC for just over 30 years, retiring in the year 2000. I was honored to preach at the Mass celebrating his 60th anniversary as a priest in 2007. His pastorate was marked by a deep devotion to the Eucharist and a never-ending preoccupation with preaching the Gospel and teaching the Catholic faith.

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frnewmanThe Associated Press (Nov. 13, 2008) has an interesting report about a priest, Father Jay S. Newman, at St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, South Carolina who told his parishioners in a distributed bulletin that they they should NOT receive Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama, given his support for abortion; that is until they have done penance for their sin. He argued that voting for Obama “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

The priest wrote:

“Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president.”

“Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”

TO READ THE STORY FOLLOW THIS LINK:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27705755/

THE PRIEST’S BLOG:

http://web.mac.com/jayscottnewman/Site/A_Parish_Priest.html

PARISH WEB PAGE:

http://www.stmarysgvl.org/home/

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chameleon_logo.gif

This year I am nominated in a number of categories.  If you like my Blog, vote for me!  If you do not like my Blog, but really don’t care, vote for me!  If there are other Blogs you like better, remember I am a priest and asked you personally where others did not, so vote for me!  If you are a spammer, heck, vote for me!  If you are a Protestant and think this award thing is silly, emphasize your point by voting for me!   If you are an anti-Catholic and think my apologetics poor, a vote for me will will direct surfers from more effective sites, so vote for me!  If you like all the religious instructions and apologetics and think they’re great, vote for me!  If you like the music, vote for me!  If you think the jokes and stories and pics are sometimes funny, vote for me!  If you feel like an underdog who can never win, then vote for another underdog and maybe we will make a difference– VOTE FOR ME!  PLEEEEEASE!  JUST CLICK THE LOGO ABOVE OR THE LINK BELOW, AND MAKE AN AGING PRIEST HAPPY.

http://www.catholicblogawards.com/

Voting will begin on Monday, March 3, 2008 at 12:00 Noon CST and end on Monday, March 17, 2008 at Noon.

Thankyou!

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Resource Guides for Teachers, Catechists and Youth Ministers

The Archdiocese of Washington has prepared these wonderful educational materials about the Papacy so that everyone might make the most of his visit. 

CORE THEOLOGY ON THE PAPACY
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_coretheology.pdf

GRADES K-2
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_gradesK_2_all.pdf

GRADES 3-5
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_grades3_5_all.pdf

GRADES 6-8
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_grades6_8_all.pdf

GRADES 9-12/ADULTS
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_grades9_12_All.pdf

RCIA & TEENS
http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/pdf/Pope_rcia_teens.pdf

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Over the years a few of my friends and I have engaged in Internet debates, usually through emails and message boards.  Even though the message board site that I maintained went commercial and disappeared when I failed to subscribe, I saved some of the conversations and hope to post a few of them at this site. 

debatescicero.jpg

 I must admit that I am not as much into debates as I used to be.  It seemed to me that such efforts only made tensions greater and that those who are truly bigoted against the Church cannot be moved even by the clearest facts.

Oddly, the greatest benefit was often for Catholics themselves, finding support and reassurance for teachings that maybe they took for granted.  I would also like to set Catholics on fire for their faith.  Too many passively surrender their holy religion, either because of ignorance or because they have accepted the relativism of the age that denies the validity of truth claims.

Every Catholic should know his or her faith and be willing to suffer anything to maintain it.

Unfortunately, many give away and surrender what the martyrs spilled their blood in profession and witness. 

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When our Lord was asked questions by the scribes and pharisees, they were not always seeking real answers but looking for a way to convict him of false teaching and maybe even kill him.  Similarly, some people today may quote scripture and ask questions, not because they want to know more about the Catholic faith, but because they want to dismiss and repudiate it.  Subsequently, some of the material in the sub-pages here could just as well have been posted under Apologetics and anti-Catholicism.

Of course, many will also inquire in good faith and it is to this group that real dialogue and discernment is possible.  Please know that I believe that Catholics and Protestants need to work together to preserve our Christian values in a society that is becoming increasingly secular.  We profess with our separated brethren that JESUS IS LORD.  Please understand that no harshness is intended toward them and I apologize in advance for a writing style that might appear stringent at times.

Catholics can also take benefit from exploring questions of faith, particularly if their initial faith formation was lacking.  It must also be admitted that, as part of the human condition, we tend to forget things and may need a refresher.

The question and answer format has always been valuable in giving immediate responses to religious concerns.  Many of the questions here are inspired and follow a pattern reworked from an old book a century old that lacked a cover and literally crumbled to dust in my hands. Given changes in the Church, the old books suffer when revision is warranted and the extensive reformulations make such efforts new projects. The answers here are not full-blown, but are short and to the point. If such a format appeals to the reader, the old Baltimore Catechism remains an ideal example, although it will discuss such things as Limbo for unbaptised children, a theory that has largely fallen by the wayside today.

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General Age Characteristics to Be Considered:

First Year (Six years old)

  • active, changeable, emotionally responds and highly imaginative
  • egocentric — brings all things into himself — starts with home, neighborhood and parish
  • has difficulty separating fact from fantasy
  • has difficulty relating events according to time elements
  • thinks through perception — via senses, learns by doing, showing, experiencing
  • needs individual security, to be loved and to love in return, to grow, to identify

Second Year (Seven years old)

  • beginning of openness to others, sensitive to feelings and attitudes of others
  • strong emotional life under better control
  • competition involving peers is beginning to be attractive

Third Year (Eight years old)

  • self motivated, expansive and inquisitive
  • need for others to be aware of him/her
  • sense of self is becoming clearer
  • sense of time and space is developing
  • increased ability to talk with other persons, not simply to them
  • the age of “I” and “You”
  • strong symbolic thinking and acting
  • age of credulity and openness for development of sense of Faith

Fourth Year (Nine years old)

  • a growing capacity for self-motivation, responsibility and increased self-reliance
  • emotional life is more stable
  • acceptance by groups developing as a need, becoming very much group oriented
  • a weakening of the symbolic and personalistic awareness of religious reality occurs
  • age of the doer; action oriented
  • loyalty and dependability
  • growing development of conscience and a desire for moral order
  • a spirit of service, sharing of self as well as things

Fifth Year (Ten years old)

  • has a fairly critical sense of justice and can make comparative judgments
  • has a special desire to be him/herself
  • is beginning to realize that intention is important in deciding whether an action is good or bad
  • attitudes are more flexible
  • is becoming aware of the individuality of others as well as self
  • strong influence from peer group is becoming very evident

Sixth Year (Eleven years old)

  • involvement socially is primarily with peer groups
  • has the ability to assume more responsibility for own behavior
  • very critical of other’s failures
  • emotional life is more stable due to the benefit of a certain rationalism

Seventh Year (Twelve years old)

  • social involvement is predominately with peer groups
  • the young adolescent is beginning to build moral habits
  • beginning to encounter conflicts in spirituality because of increasing desire for independence
  • tendency to reject many childhood notions of God
  • becomes more self-conscious and may shy away from situations of risk
  • is interested in religion and wants to know what the faith community believes and practices and why

Eighth Year (Thirteen years old)

  • friendships are of extreme importance to younger adolescents
  • beginning to be aware of his/her potential to become a unique person
  • becoming independent and need the support and encouragement of mature adults
  • view some of the external forms and structures of religion as unimportant
  • going through a process of questioning and searching
  • have a deep and beautiful sense of the sacred but do not easily share questions or inner thoughts

Let the Children Come to Me, Religious Education Guidelines, Diocese of Scranton

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INVITATION TO A JOURNEY OF CONVERSION

On a visit to the United States, Mother Teresa surprised many of her admirers by observing that there was a poverty here which in many ways was even more dire than in Calcutta. What could she possibly have meant? If we were to really look around, the answer would hit us squarely between the eyes. Ironically, we have surrounded ourselves with a banquet of transitory delights and pursuits, while forgetting to seek an imperishable treasure. We have looked for love in all the wrong places. We separated sexuality from marriage and then wondered what had become of intimacy. We placed a greater value upon making and spending money than in leisure filled with peace and prayer. We have filled our lives with false gods who failed to make us happy and hid the fact behind noise pretending to be music and activity which only led us in endless circles. We have sought out easy quick fixes to our needs, instead of attempting responsible planning and hard work.

Where are we going?

What is the point of it all?

Why are we here?

What and who is the source of our existence?

The Church would desire to assist us in this journey to find the answers, both in ourselves and among others. Whether or not we really appreciate it, we are made for God. Without God, we are incomplete and frustrated. The greatest thrills and pleasures can become dull and boring. Money and power can lose their luster in the midst of suffering and death. Mother Teresa observed that we have become a spiritually impoverished people. We have sought to discover outside of ourselves, things for which we should have inquired within. Here is where the journey of a soul begins. The greatest figures and the least remembered all had to face suffering and death. Neither technology nor bribery could keep this great equalizer from our door.

We have become a lonely and frightened people. The Scriptures reveal that God made us in his own image and the humanists attempt to return the compliment by re-making God into man’s. It is not enough. There is an inner questioning and reaching in each one of us which seeks to be freed from a drowning sea of lies and half-truths. Even good things have become a part of the deceit. Religion has sometimes received bad press. Many people would claim to be Christian even though they belong to no particular community. Although this might be permissible for someone beginning the quest for truth, ultimately it should lead to a realization that God has called a people to himself in a visible and living community. We are a family of faith, not isolated monoliths to face the storms and calms of life without companionship.

None of these words, or those to follow, should be viewed as propaganda. The Church seeks to earnestly discover, to follow, and to proclaim the truth. She believes that her brand of truth is closest to the reality of things; however, the Church refuses to coerce anyone into her ranks. The Church merely offers the invitation, “Come and see.” Faith cannot be forced. It can be nurtured, but ultimately, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If after seeing what the Catholic Church has to offer, one is still not convinced of her claims, to enter would be hypocritical. Intellectually, there have been many great minds drawn to the Church. Nevertheless, there have also been many well versed in what Catholics believed, who never seemed to receive the gift of faith. Instead of giving up, it is an occasion for more study and prayer.

Although the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults was originally intended for those who were not baptized; the accompanying instruction programs include increasing numbers of the curious from other ecclesial communities. Our directives in this age would prevent us from any aggressive proselytizing, especially from the mainline traditions. However, the open invitation remains for any who would come of their own accord. Indeed, experience has shown that members from other communities, well versed in religion already and possessing the skills to search for truth, often outnumber those who look at Christianity for the first time. Engaging in the process of inquiry should make one feel eager to go all the way in becoming Catholic. We would hope that this would be one’s aspiration; but again, it must be a person’s own free decision. Another preliminary note of which we need to be reminded is to come with open minds and hearts. We will get nowhere otherwise. Also, it is important that we participate as much as our abilities allow in the learning process. There will be many influences, from the Internet community, from family, friends, some ministers, the media, etc., which will attempt to short-circuit this process of maturation in Christ. They may do this out of no ill will, but simply out of prejudice and ignorance. What danger can there be in hearing the Church out?

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INVITATION TO A JOURNEY OF CONVERSION

  • “WE BELIEVE…” A Survey of the Catholic Church by Fr. Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.
  • Workbook for the Course
  • Outlines of the Catholic Faith Book
  • Bible
  • Prayerbook

If the notes used by presenters are made available, then they will be added to this site.

Pastor’s Remarks

On a recent visit to the United States, Mother Teresa surprised many of her admirers by observing that there was a poverty here which in many ways was even more dire than in Calcutta. What could she possibly have meant? If we were to really look around, the answer would hit us squarely between the eyes. Ironically, we have surrounded ourselves with a banquet of transitory delights and pursuits, while forgetting to seek an imperishable treasure. We have looked for love in all the wrong places. We separated sexuality from marriage and then wondered what had become of intimacy. We placed a greater value upon making and spending money than in leisure filled with peace and prayer. We have filled our lives with false gods who failed to make us happy and hid the fact behind noise pretending to be music and activity which only led us in endless circles. We have sought out easy quick fixes to our needs, instead of attempting responsible planning and hard work.

Where are we going?

What is the point of it all?

Why are we here?

What and who is the source of our existence?

The Church would desire to assist us in this journey to find the answers, both in ourselves and among others. Whether or not we really appreciate it, we are made for God. Without God, we are incomplete and frustrated. The greatest thrills and pleasures can become dull and boring. Money and power can lose their luster in the midst of suffering and death. Mother Teresa observed that we have become a spiritually impoverished people. We have sought to discover outside of ourselves, things for which we should have inquired within. Here is where the journey of a soul begins. The greatest figures and the least remembered all had to face suffering and death. Neither technology nor bribery could keep this great equalizer from our door.

We have become a lonely and frightened people. The Scriptures reveal that God made us in his own image and the humanists attempt to return the compliment by re-making God into man’s. It is not enough. There is an inner questioning and reaching in each one of us which seeks to be freed from a drowning sea of lies and half-truths. Even good things have become a part of the deceit. Religion has sometimes received bad press. Many people would claim to be Christian even though they belong to no particular community. Although this might be permissible for someone beginning the quest for truth, ultimately it should lead to a realization that God has called a people to himself in a visible and living community. We are a family of faith, not isolated monoliths to face the storms and calms of life without companionship.

None of these words, or those to follow, should be viewed as propaganda. The Church seeks to earnestly discover, to follow, and to proclaim the truth. She believes that her brand of truth is closest to the reality of things; however, the Church refuses to coerce anyone into her ranks. The Church merely offers the invitation, “Come and see.” Faith cannot be forced. It can be nurtured, but ultimately, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If after seeing what the Catholic Church has to offer, one is still not convinced of her claims, to enter would be hypocritical. Intellectually, there have been many great minds drawn to the Church. Nevertheless, there have also been many well versed in what Catholics believed, who never seemed to receive the gift of faith. Instead of giving up, it is an occasion for more study and prayer.

Although the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults was originally intended for those who were not baptized; the accompanying instruction programs include increasing numbers of the curious from other ecclesial communities. Our directives in this age would prevent us from any aggressive proselytizing, especially from the mainline traditions. However, the open invitation remains for any who would come of their own accord. Indeed, experience has shown that members from other communities, well versed in religion already and possessing the skills to search for truth, often outnumber those who look at Christianity for the first time. Engaging in the process of inquiry should make one feel eager to go all the way in becoming Catholic. We would hope that this would be one’s aspiration; but again, it must be a person’s own free decision. Another preliminary note of which we need to be reminded is to come with open minds and hearts. We will get nowhere otherwise. Also, it is important that we participate as much as our abilities allow in the learning process. There will be many influences, from the Internet community, from family, friends, some ministers, the media, etc., which will attempt to short-circuit this process of maturation in Christ. They may do this out of no ill will, but simply out of prejudice and ignorance. What danger can there be in hearing the Church out.

THIS LAST POINT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CATECHISM TO BE TAUGHT TO YOU BY THOSE WHO ARE EITHER IGNORANT OR HOSTILE TO THE FAITH. I REMEMBER LOSING ONE YOUNG WOMAN FROM MY CLASS OVER THE ISSUE OF HUMAN SEXUALITY. THE CHARLIE CURRAN AFFAIR WAS BIG IN THE NEWS AND IT BECAME AN OCCASION TO MOCK THE CHURCH’S POSITION AGAINST CONTRACEPTION AND EXTRA-MARITAL SEX. SHE WAS MORE WILLING TO BELIEVE WHAT DAN RATHER SAID ON CBS THAN TO HEAR IT DIRECTLY FROM A PRIEST IN GOOD STANDING OR FROM THE CHURCH’S OWN DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING THE SCRIPTURES. JUST THE OTHER DAY, I HAPPENED TO WATCH A FUNDAMENTALIST MINISTER ON TELEVISION MAKE ALL SORTS OF ABSURD AND BIGOTED STATEMENTS ABOUT WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BELIEVES. HE DID NOT BEGIN TO ANSWER THE DILEMMA OF HOW HE COULD CRITICIZE A TWO THOUSAND YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN INSTITUTION WHEN HIS WENT BACK MERELY TO THE BEGINNING OF HIS OWN PERSONAL MINISTRY. ANTI-CATHOLICISM, EVEN FROM SO-CALLED CATHOLICS, IS NOT ONLY TOLERATED TODAY, IT HAS BECOME FASHIONABLE.

This site has been nominated for BEST RELIGION BLOG. Click the “gif” here to vote!

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Back in 1982, the School Office for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., released a booklet with a set of curriculum guidelines to orient teachers and administrators in their task of providing sound religious education in Catholic schools. Then Superintendent of Schools, Leonard DeFiore, Ed.D., prefaced the document with a letter in which he acknowledged more than four years of work on the project by a Task force chaired by Sister Ursula Butler and assisted by a host of others, including Father Kevin Hart. Major sources for this document were guidelines from the Diocese of Scranton and the Archdiocese New York, along with the National Catechetical Directory. Having not seen it available for some time, and having found various elements of it still to be useful, I am taking the liberty of revising elements of it for this site. Our children are the hope of tomorrow– the hope of the Church– let us teach them well.

General Age Characteristics to Be Considered:

First Year (Six years old)

  • active, changeable, emotionally responds and highly imaginative
  • egocentric — brings all things into himself — starts with home, neighborhood and parish
  • has difficulty separating fact from fantasy
  • has difficulty relating events according to time elements
  • thinks through perception — via senses, learns by doing, showing, experiencing
  • needs individual security, to be loved and to love in return, to grow, to identify

Second Year (Seven years old)

  • beginning of openness to others, sensitive to feelings and attitudes of others
  • strong emotional life under better control
  • competition involving peers is beginning to be attractive

Third Year (Eight years old)

  • self motivated, expansive and inquisitive
  • need for others to be aware of him/her
  • sense of self is becoming clearer
  • sense of time and space is developing
  • increased ability to talk with other persons, not simply to them
  • the age of “I” and “You”
  • strong symbolic thinking and acting
  • age of credulity and openness for development of sense of Faith

Fourth Year (Nine years old)

  • a growing capacity for self-motivation, responsibility and increased self-reliance
  • emotional life is more stable
  • acceptance by groups developing as a need, becoming very much group oriented
  • a weakening of the symbolic and personalistic awareness of religious reality occurs
  • age of the doer; action oriented
  • loyalty and dependability
  • growing development of conscience and a desire for moral order
  • a spirit of service, sharing of self as well as things

Fifth Year (Ten years old)

  • has a fairly critical sense of justice and can make comparative judgments
  • has a special desire to be him/herself
  • is beginning to realize that intention is important in deciding whether an action is good or bad
  • attitudes are more flexible
  • is becoming aware of the individuality of others as well as self
  • strong influence from peer group is becoming very evident

Sixth Year (Eleven years old)

  • involvement socially is primarily with peer groups
  • has the ability to assume more responsibility for own behavior
  • very critical of other’s failures
  • emotional life is more stable due to the benefit of a certain rationalism

Seventh Year (Twelve years old)

  • social involvement is predominately with peer groups
  • the young adolescent is beginning to build moral habits
  • beginning to encounter conflicts in spirituality because of increasing desire for independence
  • tendency to reject many childhood notions of God
  • becomes more self-conscious and may shy away from situations of risk
  • is interested in religion and wants to know what the faith community believes and practices and why

Eighth Year (Thirteen years old)

  • friendships are of extreme importance to younger adolescents
  • beginning to be aware of his/her potential to become a unique person
  • becoming independent and need the support and encouragement of mature adults
  • view some of the external forms and structures of religion as unimportant
  • going through a process of questioning and searching
  • have a deep and beautiful sense of the sacred but do not easily share questions or inner thoughts

Let the Children Come to Me, Religious Education Guidelines, Diocese of Scranton


This site has been nominated for BEST RELIGION BLOG. Click the “gif” here to vote!

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