Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why God Didn't Put Me in Charge of the Israelites


I fear every year I choose to keep my kids in the Chicago Public School system instead of enrolling them at a local Catholic school, I am that much closer to neighborhood excommunication.

But let's be honest.  You've read my blog.  Do you really think I'm capable of spending thousands of dollars a year when I've got free access to the best public schools in the city (bus transportation notwithstanding)?  I'm a couponer. I look for online discount codes before advancing to the checkout screen. I shop at Goodwill for chrissakes.

So where does that leave me?  I still consider myself a Catholic.  My kids have been baptized.  What's next?

The answer is complex.  I grew up calling the alternative "CCD."  My kids call it "God school."  Based on the correspondence from the church (because Lord knows we don't attend frequently enough to hear this stuff at mass), I believe it's now called "Religious Education Program" or REP.  Last year,  we were registered parishioners of St. Barnabas, who scheduled their CCD Religious Education for Sundays at 8:15 AM.

I'll say it again in case you missed it:

8:15 AM.  On a Sunday.

The only day of the week we were able to sleep in was now taken over by waking up and sending the kids off to color pictures of Mary.  I know about Jesus' 40 days in the desert.  I know about Moses' 40 years in the desert.  But I'm tired, I don't like sand, and I think a 7:30 am wake-up call on a Sunday is just plain mean. 


Somewhere over coffee or cocktails, I learned about St. Cajetan's CCD Religious Education Program.  Tuesday nights.  Joe could drop them off on his way to bowling!  I could sleep in on Sundays!  It was time to pack up my own Israelites and kiss Egypt, or rather St. Barnabas, farewell.  We were heading to St. Cajetan's!  Everyone grab a camel!

Remember the fireman at Joe's house who used to be a pilot who now builds tricked-out wheelchairs for relay races?  Well his wife is going to be Danny's CCD Religious Education teacher!  It was a sign!  Or perhaps just a clear indication that this neighborhood overlaps just way too much to be normal.

I was so over the moon over our new church's CCD Religious Education schedule, I promptly loaded up the cooler and lawn chairs and headed to parish picnic this past Saturday:

Why wouldn't there be a fire truck at a parish picnic?  I'm fairly certain Jesus was part Irish...and His descendants probably work as firemen in Englewood.
Joey wanted nothing to do with the fire truck.  We may have to schedule a "re-programming."

I feel a little guilty about leaving a perfectly good parish because I need more sleep.  I wonder if this is some sort of test to measure my faith.  I have tried to rationalize our move by pointing out to people that my parents were married at St. Cajetan's and this is sort of a return home.  Nobody is buying it.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Revelations 3:20). 

Yes, I did pay some attention during CCD Religious Education. Hopefully St. Cajetan's will answer the door when I stop by to pay our fees.  My boys are going to need a lot of spiritual guidance.  And as this blog demonstrates, I might as well start hitting confession.  Daily.


  1. Aww! I was looking forward to having Danny in my class this year (and so was Sean)! But I get not being a fan of the early Sunday morning wake up call... Best wishes at your new parish! :)

  2. ...and the lord did sayeth that thou shalt get your Sunday morning sleep, and thou shalt not fret over what day or time your kin shalt recieve their education. :-)

  3. Dude, you're still Catholic? My wife started out that way when I married her, but now she's a good Unitarian Universalist.

  4. So excited to hang out with the Walshs at REP.

  5. Good Grief! Jesus was part Lithuanian and one of his Lithuanian descendants did work in Englewood as a policeman rather than a fireman (God Bless those firemen). And...........Jesus had a full time angel assigned to this particular Lith so that you could blog about those special CCD teachers now known as REP teachers. And forget about confessions, you have nothing spicy to tell other than laundries, feeding the boys, driving them all over the planet, and trying to get a few hours sleep.

  6. Kathy - Thanks! I'm sure Danny will miss Sean as well. ):
    Peggy - I knew I could count on you for support. Go in peace, cuz.
    Bret - There's no fighting city hall (Joe).
    Erowan - Please just don't let Danny rat me out as far as mass attendance or I'm doomed.
    Anonymous - You may be on to something.