Saturday, November 04, 2006

Whisper Down the Lane

"Whisper" Cartoon by Matt Myers of Virginia Wesleyan College, 2002

I decided last year that we would add a little Latin to our curriculum. The 4th graders are learning the Signum Crucis and the Pater Noster and the 5th graders are learning the Gloria Patri and the Ave Maria. I would really have liked to have the kids learn them at a younger age, but I figured they really ought to work on the prayers in English in 1st grade and 2nd grade is First Reconciliation and first Communion, so there is already enough there. Third grade's curriculum focuses on the Apostle's Creed , so they learn that prayer in 3rd grade. 4th and 5th grades didn't have any specific prayers attached to the curriculum, so I put them there. I think it's going well so far.

Why, you may ask, are we teaching the kids their basic formal prayers in Latin? Well, a. Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church and b. Pope Benedict asked all of us to learn these basic Latin prayers so that people from all over the world can gather and pray in the same language (see World Youth Day). Bonus: learning some words in Latin will help them in their secular lives as well, especially in their languages classes (as long as they elect to study a Romance language) and when it comes time to take standardized tests (since so many English words have their roots in Latin or in Romance languages). My hope is that some of the kids who have an affinity for languages will become interested in Latin and learn it so that all of the people who can read and speak this dead language don't die off and then it's a REALLY dead language. (Side note: I think it's shameful that most American diocesan seminaries don't require that the men in formation learn Latin. my$.02)

You should HEAR some of the stuff that's going around the parish about this one. Our pastor got a phone call from someone who wanted to know why the kids had to learn Latin prayers before they could make their First Holy Communion (?!). Only better than that is what my mom heard at the hairdresser's 3 weeks ago. The pastor that hired me retired in June (passing away in July). So, we got a new pastor in July. The rumor around Curl Up and Dye (a real beauty salon name, but not the name of the one mom goes to-isn't that a great name?) is that Fr. Bob is trying to get rid of all of the priests at our parish and that our extremely popular 40 year old parochial vicar is being forced to retire (remember all of the above is UNTRUE-except about Curl Up and Dye being a real salon name. THAT's true).

It's like the gossip spread by the game "Whisper Down the Lane." 2 weeks ago I had Confirmation Parent Meetings and stuff I said there is coming back to me totally twisted up. The person who fell asleep in my meeting is going around repeating the half sentence they heard. And that half sentence taken completely out of the context of the rest of the sentence can be considered pretty inflammatory (RE: candidates' Mass attendance, I said, "It's not like we're going to say, Three misses and you're out." I heard that I said "three misses and you're out." oy vey!)

And all I can do is shake my head and laugh sometimes. People are going to get mad at me no matter what I do in my job. All I can do is my best to work joyfully for the Lord and pray hard.


Pray For Obama and Biden Our Future Leaders said...


Amy Giglio said...

Hi Pray for...

I'll certainly pray for all of those who have leadership roles in our country and for those who aspire to such roles. But I'm not going to vote for Senator Obama and would never vote for Senator Biden. I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree here. God bless!