Last night Middle Sister and I attended the information meeting about next year's Confirmation. It was a really important meeting that would review the entire process of preparing for the sacrament.
So we got there on time and sat for twenty minutes while many others arrived late. Still others got there after the religious-education director had begun speaking. Not like we could hear her, since the sound system in the cafechurchagymatorium is no great shakes and she is a very soft-spoken woman.
We were treated to a tidbit or two about her disagreement with the pastor on the timing of Confirmation. Seems that he'd prefer to delay it until high school, while she wants it as early in eighth grade as possible. Apparently the compromise is February of eighth grade. They think. But we won't know until the Bishop sends in his RSVP.
We received information on choosing a sponsor, working on service projects and the requirement that the students are to write a personal letter to the pastor asking to be accepted as confirmandi. We learned how to request eligibility letters for sponsors and about an essay the students are to write, based on an interview they conduct with someone who puts the Church or community service on a high priority in his/her life. All of this information was important and necessary and, I believe, will help the students in their preparation.
And because sacramental preparation is incomplete without a craft project, we got the details on the Confirmation Arts-N-Crafts Candle.
My apologies to anyone who reads this who may be a DRE or involved in religious ed. or sacramental preparation. I have the utmost respect for catechists until they show me that they haven't earned it. But last night left a bad taste in my mouth.
The meeting, scheduled to last 45 minutes, began 20 minutes late and lasted only ten. I spent more time in the car picking up Middle Sister's classmate, driving to the school, and then delivering the classmate back to her front door and going home than I did learning about next year's Confirmation. They could have handed the children their folders and Bibles in school and had this meeting during religion class; the CCD children were dismissed to their CCD teachers to continue the class after last night's meeting.
And the DRE let us know that memorizing things about the Faith is "out." She wants this to be "meaningful" for the children; this is "their special celebration."
I'm not depending on the religious education program to make that happen for my daughter. Arts-N-Crafts isn't going to do it. Not for Middle Sister, and not for any kid.