Preparing for First Holy Communion
The Archdiocese of Glasgow promotes the Alive-O Programme. It's near-heretical guff. I took one look at it and used it for firelighters. The readers of Fr Ray's blog were less than impressed
Youngest and I are going through a fantastic book recommended by the Black Monk, the priest who married Mrs P and me. It's by a former pupil of his , Mark Allen, who, being a diplomat, was here there and everywhere and didn't have access to catechists or Catholic teachers. The local bishop (in Romania) advised him to do it himself. The result is admirable, thorough and orthodox. It is also challenging. I had worried that the boy might find it heavy going - far from it. As an eight year old he has no problem with the concepts embodied in Harry Potter, Tolkien or CS Lewis: love, sacrifice, life, death, good and evil. Why would he struggle with such ideas as the bedrock of his faith?
Sir Mark (as he now is) goes through the bible taking themes relevant to the Mass (sacrfice, covenant, salvation, expiation, incarnation) and expounding on them in an intelligent way. After each of our sessions, it's quite clear the lad gets it and can ask and answer questions about it with ease. There's a preview on Google Books. I'd be interested in your views.
Kids can manage the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Why do the professional catechesis merchants and liturgists think they can't? Why do they think Catholic children deserve nothing more than a sentimental, watered-down faith, little removed from the secular drivel that they face day-in, day-out?
Why, as The Curate has asked me more than once, have we been fed gruel over the past 40 years, to the point where we think we can't take anything better?