I hope this letter find you and your family in good health. I appreciate all that you have done over the past year. Truly, religious education would be impossible in the parish without you all.
However, sadly there have been some misunderstandings floating around the parish in the religious education classes over the last year that I would like to clear up before the new year begins.
1. The Pope speaks ex cathedra and not ex catheter. The former is a position of authority that refers to the Chair of St. Peter (the first Pope). It also connotes the understanding of papal infallibility when the Pope speaks from the chair (ex cathedra). The later is an unpleasant medical procedure.
2. There has also been much confusion as to how to refer to the Pope. Please, Please, Please, do not refer to him as Papa Ratzi. This caused much confusion among the 6th grade class last year. I had many students in my office last year asking if the Pope was really paparazzi and if he had been following around Britney Spears. For clarity, use one of the many titles already in existence: pontiff, Pope, Papa, Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, or Holy Father. If you feel the need to be 'hip and cool' a less confusing term is 'B-16".
3. Priests take a vow of celibacy and not a a vow of celebratory. One is a promise so be a eunuch for the kingdom of God. That is, the priest gives of himself completely and fully in a way that is different from the married life. Of the later term, priests do celebrate the Liturgy. However, they do not take a vow of celebratory.
4. Please do not refer to the person in Mark 14 as a Streaker for Christ. The young man who followed Jesus has long be taught and believed by the Church to be Mark himself.
5. Just because we have mass does not mean we are already at Mass. Weight is not the same as the Sunday Liturgy.
6. There are no fleas in the Bible. Although the story says that Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, be sure to clarify for your students. "Flee" means to "leave" or "go from". "Flea" is a small animal that causes much scratching and itching. I don't want students asking me about Lot's pet flea this year.
7. This year teach the correct "Lay me down" prayer. The following one taught to the first graders last year, though funny, was unacceptable: "Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow's test, if I should die before I wake, that's one less test I have to take."
8. This Christmas, remember it is the Three Wise Men that visited Jesus whose names are Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior. We are not dealing with the "Three Wise Guys" and they are not called Larry, Moe, and Curly. Please remember this for the coming year.
9. Good Friday is the day that Jesus was crucified. Good Friday is not the Character from Dragnet...that was Joe Friday.
10. Lastly, the practice of having only one spouse is called monogamy and not monotony.
Thank you all for your time. I do look forward to this coming year. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Also, if you are uncertain about a specific doctrine or phrase, check with me first... or just stick to the text for the day.
Peace and God bless,