I always say I look forward to the last night of religion each year. I guess in a sense I do, but I also dread it. I like getting my Wednesday nights back (somewhat), but also realize that another class will have come and gone after CCD.
Well, tonight was the night. Officially, there is one more week (contrary to what I told them last week!). But tonight was our last night as a "class". Next week is a group activity.
We had "Stump the Priest" night. A few weeks ago, I had the kids list questions on a card -- any question that they felt they had not had answered while in class any of the years they were in CCD. Normally, I thumb through them before I give them to Father -- it gives me a sense of what we are missing when we are teaching -- but this year I just didn't have time, so I gave them to him without looking at them (I guess in hindsight that could have been dangerous!).
This class impressed me so very much with the questions they asked him. Big, grown up questions about life and their faith, and decision making, and prayer. I actually asked Father at one point (jokingly) if these were really the questions they submitted or if he made up better ones! LOLOLOL
We had a beautiful discussion tonight. A discussion that I wish every Catholic would be able to have with their priest. An open, frank discussion about our church, our beliefs, our lives.
The bell even rang to indicate the end of class, and noone moved. They said we could go on as long as we wanted. They were enjoying themselves.
At the end of class, we discussed the future. The fact that this is "the end" of formal education, doesn't mean that this is the end of their formal religious education. Hopefully, they will all be life-long learners. I challenged them to meet up with like-minded people wherever they land next. Find Catholics at college that will go to church with them and keep them on the right path. Make friends with other Catholics (not only Catholics, but have them in the mix!) to help remind them of their faithfulness to their faith.
And about that time, my eyes started leaking again :). We ended, as we always do, with prayer. I asked if anyone wanted to lead, and, as usual, had a volunteer. We prayed, first him singularly, then the Our Father as a group. And it was over. They left. We exchanged a few hugs, but it was over.
Or so I thought.
I came home and did the usual. Checked the shower schedule, made sure teeth were brushed, etc. Sat down to watch a little American Idol (Heejun cracked me up, but that's another day!).
I started reading Facebook and saw a private message pop up. I clicked on the link, saw who it was from, and smiled. I received the nicest message from one of the kids tonight -- just a thank you and a long distance hug. A super sweet and super nice note. Not at all necessary but very much appreciated.
If you are a parent of one of these senior kids, be so proud. They are awesome kids.
As much as I hate to see them go, I'm so excited for them and their new futures. I'm excited to see where life will lead them. What challenges and surprises life has for them.
I left them with an idea for next week. I want them to challenge their underclassmen with something. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
In my opinion, all they would have to do is point to themselves and say "Beat this"! :)
God bless, you class of 2012!