Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Angela F
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Posted: May 18 2007 at 11:43am | IP Logged Quote Angela F

Hi all,
I need some help either with older threads or advice here...what is the best approach to take with a priest in a small parish wanting to require a 2nd grader to participate in FHC prep CCD classes for the year that are full of twaddle? The 2nd grader is my god daughter and she could teach the class! There is so much emphasis on the meal aspect with all the rest left out.

(Just a little FYI - we've (both our families are in this parish) put our hearts and souls into our parish here and have had to really pull back to safeguard our spiritual lives and that of our children...we travel quite a bit just to expose the kids to holy priests on a semi-regular basis.)

Anyway, my computer time is limited with little (ha!) John Paul and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Thanks everyone!
God bless,

Mom to 7 blessings - welcome to Hanna Clare 1/19/10
"‘Great’ holiness consists in carrying out the ‘little’ duties of each moment."
St. Josemaria Escriva
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Posted: May 18 2007 at 3:06pm | IP Logged Quote nicole-amdg

This is such a sore spot with me. I did some research on it two years ago, with no real definitive (for me) answer on what action to take. On one hand, canon law seems to be in the favor of the parents, in that a priest must admit to communion a child or adult who is baptized and understands what the sacrament is. (Forget the actual citation--will look for it.) On the other, many homeschoolers feel that for the sake of the parish/Church community and out of obedience to one's pastor, if there is no potential spiritual damage (sadly too often the case in some R.E. programs), we should submit to CCD prep.

I wanted to write an article about it but it ended up being too personal for me to write the piece I intended. My pastor was adamant in the need for community participation in the form of classes, and in his prerogative as pastor to determine the requirements for FHC reception. I was too nonconfrontational/chicken to press the matter. After waiting a year for one of my children and ensuring a good teacher for both the next (one of our homeschool moms, as orthodox and dynamic as they come--she basically ignored the planned materials), two of mine did the class and received FHC this year. It seems that, here, the answer is to get involved on that level if possible.

I think there's a chapter about this in one of Maureen Wittman's books--the more recent one, The Catholic Homeschool Companion, I believe. Does anyone else know?

Wife to
Mom to
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Posted: May 18 2007 at 3:22pm | IP Logged Quote Matilda

My biggest issue with just "following the rules" is that home schoolers are essentially being treated the same as public schooled children even though our children get more religious education than the Catholic school children.

Our faith tells us that parents are the primary educators yet out local parish requires us to relinquish more of those parental rights than our own state government does.

Why aren't our home schooled children given credit for being Catholic schoolers?

Charlotte (Matilda)
Mom to four (11, 10, 9 & 5) an even split for now
with bookend boys and a double girl sandwich
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Posted: May 18 2007 at 3:43pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I'm really interested in following this thread, as we have one approaching FHC next year. Our current pastor offers an interview process, and then administers FHC during a regular Mass to homeschool families requesting it for their children. I'm really grateful for this, and pray there are no speedbumps.

At our last parish the priest required attendance in the classes. I wasn't sure what to do, the parish was small, I felt pressured, but was determined that dd would not be exposed to any twaddle, and certainly nothing dangerous. In the end, my dh and I decided the solution was for me to teach the FHC prep class. I insisted on using my own materials. They were sort of over a barrel since they had no one else to teach the class, so they agreed. I wouldn't have taught if they didn't agree to using beautiful materials. God kept opening the doors. This seemed to work out ok for us. We haven't enrolled in any Rel Ed classes before or since.

Would it be possible for you or your god-daughter's mom to tag team a class together?

Jen Mackintosh
Wife to Rob, mom to dd 19, ds 16, ds 11, dd 8, and dd 3
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Posted: May 20 2007 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote JennyMaine

Not sure if this contains helpful info? There might be more at their site under Parent Resources.

--JennyMaine, Mom to Catherine (17) and Sam (15) "The countenance is a reflection of the soul. You should always have a calm and serene countenance." -- Therese of Lisieux
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Posted: June 02 2007 at 2:38am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Angela, So sorry to post late but this might be helpful. It took me awhile to find my copy then type it. This is from a publication called the National Directory for Catechesis – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005. Basically it reafirms parents in their right to do home catechesis and sacramental prep, but does specify use of approved materials, involvement with the chuch community in other prep activities, cooperation between parent/priest/DRE-catechist leader. This is what bishops and diocese should be allowing in the US. So hope it helps.

As the primary educators of their children, parents have the right and the duty to choose the kind of educational environment that they determine best suits their children’s needs. Therefore, home schooling is a viable option for the general education of children.

If Catholic parents chose to provide catechesis for their children in their home, that catechesis must be both complete and authentic. The bishop of the diocese, the pastor of the parish, the parents, and the children all have God-given responsibilities that must be respected in considering home-based catechesis. The home-based catechesis of children is a cooperative effort between the children, their parents, parish leadership, and diocesan bishop. Parents who chose to be not only the primary educators of their children but also their catechists must adhere to all guidelines for catechists as outlined by diocesan bishop.

Parents who chose to catechize their children at home should not feel alone in this task. They are part of the parish’s total catechetical effort and should be welcomed in all parish catechetical program activities. Pastors in collaboration with parish catechetical leaders should provide the support, encouragement, and direction that parents need in order to ensure that they teach their children what the Church intends to be taught by providing parents with copies of appropriate sections of the diocesan curriculum. Parents who would like to provide catechesis at home should make themselves known to the local pastor and consult with him or his delegate to ensure that the catechesis provide in the home is the catechesis of the Church. Dialogue between the pastor and the parents is essential to complete an authentic catechesis of children in their homes.

All parents have an obligation to involve their children in the life and mission of the Church. Since their children are being initiated into the life of the Church, which is fundamentally realized in the local parish, parents who provide catechesis for their children in their homes should participate fully in the life of the local parish. They should celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in the local parish, involve themselves in its charitable works, and attend appropriate training and formation sessions the parish or diocese provides. Since the celebration of the sacraments continually integrates children into the Body of Christ, preparing children for reception of the sacraments should always be undertaken in collaboration with the local pastor and catechetical leader. These children should be encouraged to participate in non-instructional, preparatory activities of the parish peer group preparing for the sacrament. Parents who provide catechesis for their children in their homes can use those catechetical materials that have been approved by the diocesan bishop.
(pp. 259-260)

Mary M. in Denver

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Posted: June 02 2007 at 5:24pm | IP Logged Quote Lavenderfields


In our parish, you have to go through the DRE, she makes the decisions. So, I went and had a chat with her, I explained to her we incorporate our Religion in all of our subjects. She was intriqued and asked questions which I answered. She came to her own conclusion that we are teaching the way the Catholic Schools used to teach. I helped her come to this conclusion without actually telling her this. She is now our biggist advocate. Our homeschool groups receives FHC through the parish, while we teach ourselves. She hasn't made any restrictions on us. We live in an area that restricts the books the Parishes can us, but she lets us use what we want.

Our next step is Confirmation!

God Bless
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