Friday, December 10, 2010

Diocese of Orlando: More on Catechizing Children

Friday greetings from the Diocese of Orlando. Got trapped trying to find a cab during a snow squall in downtown Chicago last night, so it is a relief to be here in relatively warm Central Florida.

I received an e-mail today from a Vicar General-Moderator of the Curia in a diocese here in the United States. Here is a section from that e-mail:

You mentioned in your December 2nd blog when you were in Birmingham, Alabama:

Have you thought, for instance, of what you would say to a precocious seven-year-old Catholic child when that child asks the question, "Why are they changing the words?" How would you respond?

During our January Catechist Formation Sessions in the Diocese, we are going to deal with the English Translation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal.  The question you posed on the 2nd in your New Translation Tuesday installment is very much the point at which we want to get.  You mentioned in later entries that music would be most important in responding to youth and engaging them in the “changes”.

Have you garnered any other responses/ideas/suggestions/strategies?


I did not receive many responses to my query that actually helped with ideas and strategies, so I am asking the question again; this time I wonder how you might actually set up a pastoral plan for your parish that includes children? I have decided to weave this question into my own presentations.

I do wonder if it might be possible to teach a small group of children the new responses (both sung and spoken) and then have them "teach" the assembly these newly translated words.

Might be something worth thinking about.

Comments welcomed and encouraged. Let's help one another.

More from my experiences here in Orlando when I post on Monday. Have a blessed Third Sunday of Advent.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


jdonliturgy said...

Hi, Gerry -

I think that most 7-year-olds have been introduced to the concept that there is more than one language and more than one word to say something. Most have encountered Spanish, at least, on Sesame Street, where they learn to count in English and Spanish. That might be a starting point.

Perhaps having families learn about this together is a good strategy... that way, the children know that this is not just something being put on them... and this would encourage families to discuss it. Parents know best how to deal with their children's anxiety. One publisher (CMD) has already put out an intergenerational guide for a parish event to do just that.

Parents, of course, as well as catechists, should be encouraged to talk with children about the new translation calmly and as if it is a simple matter, but not one for anxiety. After all, they pick up on the emotions of adults around them.

Msgr. Andy Varga said...

Hi Jerry...
I'm finding John 12:21 to be helpful: "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." After all, isn't that the bottom line of our worship and discipleship: that we would like to see and know Jesus better?
"Changing the words" from time to time hopefully helps us to do just that.

Paul said...

These days, kids are smart. They can see right through most "fake" answers.

Being a PSR teacher, they will ask questions like "Why can't women be priests?" and "I'm Gay and don't feel this is the place for me..." These are the questions and statements they ask and make. Does anyone here think they will accept a suger-coated response to mass changes? Honesty is the best policy, and perhaps a short course on church politics.

Simon Ho said...

We must always work to build up the faith of people, help them to see the action of God's grace operating and effective in the brokenness of their lives and even the sinfulness of members of the Church.

Political interpretations about what's going on with the new translations are simply one's private interpretations, and it seems prideful for someone to suggest foistering that on other people. The full history of what went on (which is the real final text anyway?) is far from completely written, and until that is, we would do well to avoid spreading uncharitable judgements on others lest we become the instruments of Satan.