Rorate Caeli

WHY LITURGICAL LESSONS AREN’T BEING LEARNED

By Michael A. Beauregard 

I have taught in Catholic schools for many years. For the past ten, I have had the pleasure of teaching sixth-grade religion classes in a school that is unwaveringly faithful to the Magisterium. The religious curriculum in the sixth grade includes the sacraments, the theology of the Mass, and Church history. In previous grades, the students thoroughly study the faith with the help of textbooks that are faithful to the Church, and teachers who are devout, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.

Nevertheless, year after year I am surprised by what my students know — and do not know — at the beginning of their sixth-grade year. Students are typically baffled and sometimes even stunned to learn that the Blessed Sacrament is Christ physically present in His body, blood, soul, and divinity, and not just in a spiritual or symbolic sense. More often than not, these students have incorrectly acquired the notion that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is just a Communion service memorializing the Last Supper with the priest acting as presider. They are fascinated to learn about the sacrificial aspects of the Mass and the priesthood, and the tremendous graces received from the Mass. Why are all these students, who have no less than five years of solid catechetical training, entering the sixth grade with an almost Protestant view of Catholic liturgy and the sacraments? (Read entire article at Musings of a Pertinacious Papist.)

20 comments:

Paul said...

Let us continue to pray that in those diocese where most if not all priests do not want to learn the TLM to offer it[and there are diocese like this] than these clarifications will mandate that this be changed.

Robert Sutherlin-Anson said...

As a convert, I know that my RCIA program was just as inadequate as the religion classes those children went through. It has been commonplace since Vatican II. I pray that we recover what was wrongfully taken from us.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "[...}in a school that is unwaveringly faithful to the Magisterium."

What about when that Magisterium is in direct opposition to the Perennial Magisterium?
Teaching faithfulness to man rather than God is Protestant and a grave scandal.

LeonG said...

To attempt to absolve the current church hierarchy from the absolute loss of Faith among numberless members of the modernist catholic church is irresponsible. They are to blame since it was they who propagated the novel conciliar pastoral and liturgical programmes. It is these that have engineered & manipulated the so-called "restoration", "renewal" and "reform of the reform" ideologies. It is only now that some of the church leadership understand what damage they have wrought upon us all through novelty and revolutionary change.
The major problem today is that so few still hold to The faith of our fathers while so many continue to believe protestantised notions of the Roman Catholic Faith. How many of the presbyters who are trying to "mug up" on the Latin Mass in twenty lessons honestly know The faith? In my experience almost none. Most if not all of these need to retrain for the priesthood since they are imbued with the revolutionary conciliar paradigm. Indeed, the one that has revised transubstantiation; Communion on the tongue; the Holy Mass in Latin according to Tradition; the essential principles of preistly training; the missionary ideal and so on.
Until this is completely overturned for the orthodox norms and values the church will sink further into confusion and disunity.

Anonymous said...

Odd. Supposedly orthodox catechism teacher thinks that Our Lord is "physically" present in the Eucharist. This is NOT the Catholic teaching. Our Lord is "really" present or "substantially" present, not physically present, in the Host.

To be "physically" present would mean that Christ was present as in a place or space. That is what "physical" means. It would also mean that when you move the Host, Christ also moves. Also absurd. That Christ is not physically or "locally" present in the Eucharist is demonstrated by Thomas Aquinas. See Summa Theologia III, Q. 76, aa. 4-6. This teacher needs to go back to theology class.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I made the leap to the SSPX schools.

My children memorize their catechism and are taught by nuns and priests. I test them each night on their catechism and lament that I never received the truths of our Church when I attended Catholic schools.

The truth in all of its fullness works to save souls. My girls are given a choice to attend mass everyday or go out to recess--and they choose our Lord over play time.

While many archdiocese close Catholic schools or sell them off to protestants and the Church in general seems to have abandoned its mission to educate children --- There is bounteous fruit in the SSPX schools.

Melissa Bergonso said...

Unfortunately, I think the situation is worst in Brasil. Even in "catholic schools", teachers are teaching that the Purity and the Virginity of Our Lady are different things at all, and I don't know if they teach something about the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament...

When I was at school (about 20 years ago), in a catholic school, I had a teacher (priest) that taught us about "Landless" Moviment (in Brasil it's called "Movimento Sem Terra") and nothing about sin or sanctity, nothing for our souls... So, nothing surprises me anymore...

kkollwitz said...

I teach 6th grade catechism, which is at best 30 1-hour classes a year. Your church sounds like mine, and I too marvel at how much and how little the kids know about God by the time they get to me. But I do have them for a year, and while I can't control their attendance or prior instruction, I make sure there's not a wasted or insubstantial minute of classtime during that year.

IMNSHO, there's way too much craft/ party/ game/ movie/ group-projects often used to fill classtime, instead of vigorous learning.

Alexander said...

What the post described reminds me of the 1969 draft of the GIRM. It was so ambiguous and left out so much explicitly Catholic concepts (like sacrifice) that some considered it heretical. It went through 15 pages of revisions to place back into it the Catholic concepts of the priest and the Mass as a sacrifice.

This is what the framers of the New Mass intended; a watered down liturgy that made Catholic doctrine ambiguous or nonexistent to foster ecumenism (participation was the other intent btw).

Thus with these types of commissions in control a watered down mindset of the Catholic Mass perpetuated after the council and embedded it within the minds of many.

I will tell you that I always run into people well into their adulthood who have no idea the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice.

Tom the Milkman said...

Let me understand this. In the light of stories like this post and the comments that have followed, there remain intelligent Catholics willing to defend on Catholic grounds the integrity of the effects of the theft by Rome of the ancient Roman Mass from Catholic churches and its replacement with the novus ordo of Pope Paul VI?

Anonymous said...

"Why are all these students, who have no less than five years of solid catechetical training, entering the sixth grade with an almost Protestant view of Catholic liturgy and the sacraments?"

He has to ask this question? Where has he been?

Delphina

Hope Springs Eternal said...

Parents are the primary educators of their children.

Enough said!

Latin Scholar said...

To claim that Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist is not catholic teaching and is a heresy. The doctrine of the real presence is that chist is substantially present in body, blood, soul and divinity. Obviously this so called cathecist needs to go back to school and learn catholic theology properly. The fact that someone so deluded is teaching in a catholic school is very worrying indeed.

Mr. Ortiz said...

"This is NOT the Catholic teaching. Our Lord is "really" present or "substantially" present, not physically present, in the Host."


This is correct, and therefore the author who teaches sixth grade religion needs to brush up on his theology.

Our Lord's body and blood, soul and divinity are all really, truly, substantially there in the Host and the Precious Blood, but not extended in physical space, ie, spatio-temporal manner open to our senses. This is a true, real, utterly unique presence, and hence, the value of an act of Faith in the real presence.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ortiz,

Maybe he spends too much time on a forum that I will not mention. I recently read on there someone arguing that Our Lord is as truly present in the "assembly" of the faithful as He is in the Holy Eucharist, and that His presence in the Holy Eucharist is not superior to that of His in the assembly.

I kid you not.

Delphina

Ben said...

Concerning use of the word 'physical' in reference to the Eucharist, Pope Paul VI felicitously expressed the Catholic understanding, denying a 'local' presence of Christ yet making reference to his 'physical reality':

"...nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species — beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality", corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place." ("Mysterium Fidei" 46)

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe what you claim to be teaching to 6th graders !!!! How did you get past the modernist gestapo ??

M. A. said...

"...nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species — beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality", corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place." ("Mysterium Fidei" 46)
___________________________

Thank you, Ben, for this quote. I, too, am a CCD teacher in a NO parish, and the above is what I teach to the students.

Jordanes551 said...

"...nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species — beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality", corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place."

Yes, in His physical reality Christ is corporeally present in the Eucharist -- but He is not "physically" present. The Church does not teach that, has never taught that, cannot teach that. It is the substance of the species that changes, not the accidents. Therefore the Real Presence is not a physical presence (even though it is the presence of someone who is physical).

Alan Aversa said...

When tabernacles are often relegated to the side and away from the altar, it is no surprise these sixth-graders would be surprised about the centrality and great mystery of the Transubstantiation.

Also, didn't they memorize and learn all this in 2nd grade for their First Communion from the Baltimore Catechism, viz., that the purpose of a Catholic's life is to "love, know, and serve God" and that in Communion Christ is "physically present in His body, blood, soul, and divinity"?

Alas, the Protestant "ecumenical" fruits and dumbed-down, misinterpreted Catholicism of Vatican II...