Two years ago, right here on this page, I wrote about how I “can’t pretend to believe everything I’m supposed to believe.” I wondered out loud if I was a bad Catholic for “walking through those doors with a heaviness that shouldn’t be there,” or if I was a good Catholic for making sure my children attend Catechism classes and make their sacraments.
They asked me, and I heard myself agreeing. It didn’t feel real. I would be the one teaching a room full of nine-year-olds about God. I would be responsible for their religious education for an entire school year.
(No one believed me when I texted them the news, complete with angel emojis.)
I only had a few days to prepare for my first class. They gave me a heavy binder loaded with lesson plans and talking points and suggested readings, but assured me that I could pick and choose what I wanted to cover in my classes.
The binder was pretty overwhelming. It suggested I start by ceremoniously handing each child their workbook by saying a prayer over them. Um, no. The first lesson was supposed to be about Saint Teresa of Ávila, who was born in 1515 and went into a convent at 16. Um, skip.
After flipping through the first three lessons, I decided to boil them down into four main takeaways: God made the world, God wants us to take care of the world, God made us and God wants us to be nice to each other. Bingo-bango!