Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I always had my suspicions...

... about my parish's children faith formation program. I spied these lovelies hanging on the wall in the formation building. Felt banners. Suspicions confirmed.

21 comments:

Thom Curnutte, S.F.O. said...

Dude... they were made by kids. Were you expecting tat and lace? :-)

The Crescat said...

That is what disturbs me... felt banner making 101 holds no solid spiritual formation. This is a craft project; something you'd expect at vacation bible camp... not a faith formation class preparing kids for their sacraments. It's rubbish. The "theological formation", I mean. Not the banners themselves.

Thom Curnutte, S.F.O. said...

Well, I understand your point. It seems a little odd.

But at least... I spy 3- count em- 3- ciboria with hosts!

And a goldfish.

But still.

The Crescat said...

... don't forget the white frog.

Courtney said...

Sunday School felt is so awesome, it only adds to Catholic awesomeness! Now if only we could convert Catholics to felt-board Bible stories...

I don't think that's a frog... I'm pretty sure it's a lamb.

Old Bob said...

I think a lot depends on how old the kids are.

PaxetBonum said...

Everything needed for a sound RE program is here-

http://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=40

http://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=41

For adolescents and adults, use-

http://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=42

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Catechism-of-the-Catholic-Church/US-Catholic-Church/e/9780385479677/?itm=3&USRI=catechism+of+the+catholic+church

These Catechisms are reliable, ecclesiastically approved compendia of the Holy Catholic Faith. Intellectually, they are the gateway to the huge patrimony of millions of texts, books, and documents which comprise the Deposit of Faith, and 2,000 years of the Golden Thread of Catholic Thought. But every Catholic should start with, and come back to, the Catechism.

Trendy secondary survey textbooks, "teaching aids", cutesy arts & crafts projects are peripheral to real catechesis and are essentially "rubbish", as Kat so aptly says.

Would someone please tell all the earnest parish DREs and catechists to use approved primary-source Catechisms when teaching the Faith? And save the felt banners for summer camp.

P&B.

Shark Bait said...

Is someone trying to say that FISH aren't holy?

Anybody?

Hmmmm?

(No comment on the albino frog)

Dominic Mary said...

Hhmmm . . .

The Penny Catechism is still alive and well and readily available in the UK - even if it is rather more than a Penny now.

If you had a stopover, you could pick one up at the Oratory - it's straight down the Tube (subway) from Heathrow !

Alternatively, no doubt they could mail you one if you asked; but that would deprive you of the chance to go to Mass (you don't want to go to Mass at Heathrow - pure 1970s !).

nazareth priest said...

If they're gonna do crafts during Religious Ed, maybe teaching the kids how weave palms might be a better idea than burlap and felt...just a thought!

kkollwitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kkollwitz said...

No crafts in my Catechism class:

"...no fair filling time with something other than teaching! Movies are a time-filler! I know I'll get flak for this, but I believe craft projects and games are time-fillers in 6th grade as well. The kids are old enough to learn without diversions such as movies or projects. Besides the fact that they're old enough, every minute of available class time is precious and should never be lightly used. We all know how indifferently-trained in faith many of our charges are; part of fixing that is being prepared to teach nonstop for the whole class period."


http://platytera.blogspot.com/2009/12/preparation-h.html

Addie said...

They're 2nd graders. Not to say that they can't handle theologically rich instruction.

However, just because the medium is felt doesn't mean that the message is lost. Orthodoxy and truth are not negated by the way in which they are conveyed, so long as they are conveyed in their entirety. Conversely, traditionalism does not ensure that it is completely We must learn to use the gifts and language of whatever culture we are in to teach the Gospel and ensure proper catechesis.
(A la Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Sisters of Life, Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, etc... )

Plus, a hands-on activity makes the kids think about what they are making
Rays of hope:
All the chalices and paten are gold
The fish and the lamb (yes, it is a lamb)
Three hosts on one of the pictures
Images of the resurrection on two of the crosses (bonus points for proper liturgical adornment)
jars of water and wine symbolizing the wedding at Cana
"His love feeds me" ( "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35)

Could be better, but still, not bad understanding for a group of 8 - year -olds, and according to the Code of Canon Law, "The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity" (Art. 2, 913)

scuppered said...

These are a heckuva lot better than the banners that hang in our church throughout the duration of Ordinary Time. For awhile I thought our banners (which were professionally done) featured numerous green and tan bowling pins, but it dawned on me during a long-winded homily recently that the "bowling pins" were actually meant to be highly stylized people.They are the only art in a very plain and modern church, and I find them tedious and uninspiring.

The Crescat said...

it seems we are teaching our kids a tradition of tedious and uninspiring. If faith formation instructors want to convey symbolism in art to young minds I suggest a trip to a museum... or direct them to any of the art work featured here. Young minds can grasp more than we give them credit for. My son was praying in Latin at age five... felt banners at age eight is completely unacceptable "teaching" in my opinion.

nazareth priest said...

Kat: Inspiration is the word. We have, as you so faithfully give us, a wonderful patrimony of sacred art and traditions.
Icons, sacred paintings, statues...my goodness, the internet is such a gold mine of all kinds of everything here. Even coloring an "icon" image; learning about the art in various historical churches and shrines, learning the traditional crafts and artwork of the past (as I mentioned, weaving palms for Palm Sunday as an example).
Children need inspiration and to "reach for the heights"...I agree completely.

The Crescat said...

Nazereth Priest... you have given me an idea... I will link to all my resources that I use with The Boy. Then no one reading this blog will ever have an excuse to resort to the theologically lazy efforts of felt banners.

nazareth priest said...

Thanks, Kat.
As Dostoevsky said (a much greater mind than my pea brain): "Beauty will save the world."
Pope Benedict has reaffirmed this.
The beauty of our wonderful Catholic Tradition, both East and West.
And its the Savior's beauty that save us.

BurgoFitzgerald said...

Catholics love felt. Many of the worlds problems could be solved through felt.

nazareth priest said...

BurgoFitzgerald: And may these folks have a "happy end"...not necessarily death, but being put out to pasture.
Felt...sucks!

truthfinder said...

Isn't there a Scripture about the Church going into battle, "her banners glorious..."? These are...NOT.

BTW - my word verification was "lowifyin". Too funny!