The Princess is in a mixed 5th/6th class and, as a consequence is experiencing confirmation preparation a year early [she’ll get to do it again next year when she actually makes her confirmation which does not fill me with delight, but, small school: advantages and disadvantages]. For confirmation, children get to pick a confirmation name and this is all very exciting.
Me: What kind of names are the children in your class picking?
Her: Well, D, has chosen Razor.
Me: Razor as in razor blade?
Me: What did the teacher say?
Her: There is no St. Razor.
They are also doing lots of religion. Herself said to me that the she, the two atheist children and the Protestant child have been told that they are to stop answering questions put to the class. I was very indignant until she explained that they had been answering all the questions and the teacher wanted to give other children a chance. To no avail according to herself as, confirmation class or no, none of them seem to know anything about the Bible or catechism or indeed religion. Catholics, we’re not great on knowing the details of our religion; we’re more broad brush people.
When the teacher put the 10 commandments on the board and asked whether anyone knew them. No one, except for the foursome, did. Is this not a little surprising? The teacher explained them to the class [more necessary in an Irish medium school, I suppose]. “How did she get on with adultery?” I asked. “She stopped before she got there and said we’d come back to it tomorrow, but, I don’t think she will,” she said sagely. I suppose, if they can cover even 5 of the 10 commandments it will be a triumph given the low base from which they started. And to think that for my confirmation [or, possibly, even my communion – it’s all a bit of a blur now] I knew a little yellow catechism off by heart [Did anyone else have this catechism?]. We were told that if we didn’t we wouldn’t be allowed to make our confirmations. I now suspect that was a lie. We were told that the previous year a child had failed to answer the question “Who is God?*” correctly [as in word for word from the catechism] when the parish priest visited and she had not been allowed to make her confirmation. This [false, I now realise] tale was much discussed and focussed our minds on accurate memorisation.
*God is our father in heaven, the most wonderful person ever.