I was reading this article, in CNA, on the Pope asking forgiveness for cradle Catholics for not passing on their faith. It made me wonder about my own catechesis.
My formative years were spent in public schools. For Sunday School, I went to the children's Mass, which was held in the basement of the church. Adults went upstairs and we kids went down. The entire basement church was all kids supervised by a few Notre Dame de Mure Sisters. All I remember is the Sisters teaching us to sing the songs that went to the Mass. They were the old Catholic hymns.
But what has me wondering was the catechesis. We didn't have the sisters; we had high school kids. After Mass we went upstairs. Maybe it was girls upstairs, boys down, I really don't remember that. But upstairs there were about 5-8 kids in a pew, with a high school kid. Then you skip a few pews. Then another 5-8 children with a high schooler, and it continued like that through out the church.
The lesson was to just check our memorization of the Baltimore Catechism. I got a star if I knew it well. I'm sure the high school kid explained it too, what else would they have done with the time?
By the time I became a high schooler, the parish had built a school, and Sunday School had moved into a classroom, taught by parents.
So...I was thinking. Maybe the catechesis wasn't so great -- memorizing the catechism. Maybe it was our high school teachers that were learning. When you teach is when you learn.
Maybe we should have the confirmandi teach catechism to the candidates for First Communion.