Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

7-Quick Takes.

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary

1. I finally went to the doctor on Tuesday. I have only been to see a doctor once or twice in the last four years, and that was for my knees. So I was a little afraid to go. My thinking went something along the lines of all the terrible things that could be wrong with me, from cancer to kidney failure to a huge unknown mass in my abdomen that was giving me a problem. My anxiety was only heightened by the hour-long wait to see the doctor. But as soon as my doctor walked into the room, I was relieved. She gave me a big hug and we caught up on our news very quickly and then she examined me. My problem was a simple (and yet pretty significant) urinary tract infection. She was kind of surprised I wasn't having more symptoms.  A week on Cipro should clear it all up within a week - which is a good thing because next Friday, I leave with the youth group for Franciscan University!

2.  I have noticed at the last few doctors' visits I have had, either for the kids or myself, that the doctor's laptop gets more face time than I do. My doctor is kind of new to the technology and I swear half of our time was eaten up with trying to figure out the computer interface.  And I understand it's going to get even worse as Obamacare takes over. I even joked with my doctor as she was typing my words into the tiny box they gave her at the top of her screen, that she was doing my job!

It seems to me that in the interest of saving money, the powers that be have removed the medical transcriptionist, who made probably between $15 and $25 dollars an hour, and given that responsibility over to the doctor.  So a person who went to college and then medical school is doing this clerical job.  I can't wrap my mind around how this is supposed to be cost effective or good for patients??

And I'm not the only one who sees it that way:
11 Reasons why EMR Should not Replace Medical Transcription
Is the EMR really cutting costs?
Why is Your Doctor Typing?

3.  Once in a while something happens to keep me humble in a big way.
Three years ago I resurrected our local Catholic Homeschool group. I organized two picnics, organized at least two meetings with speakers, lead regular support group meetings, got a board of directors together (twice), moved us over to a regular Yahoo group and regular e-mail correspondence and did presentations like this

and this.

So I chuckled when I got an e-mail from a member who had some concerns about our group but brought them to someone else's attention instead of directing them to me:

 "I would have e-mailed you first but I haven’t been keeping up with things and didn’t realize you were president."

Aunt Bee Listens Intently
4.  Calvin passed his last paramedic school exam!  It was comprehensive, covering everything from the beginning of the course starting in September.  Next week, if all goes well, he will graduate from paramedic school and then take the national exam.

Calvin made the grand announcement that he had scored 85% on the test and one of his cousins piped up with,  Will 85% work in the back of an ambulance?

Well here's the thing - being able to memorize information and then use that information to answer questions on a written or computerized examination is a specific skill set.  Some people are naturally gifted and do wonderfully well at it and we are training the next generation to be extremely competent in it. But when I'm pinned in an automobile after an accident bleeding profusely  with body parts missing, or gasping for breath and clutching my heart while my body starts to shut down - that's not the skill set I'm going to be really looking for!

Just sayin.

5.  Barbara Nicolosi blew my mind last week - saying in very strong terms something I have felt for a very, very long time about Catholic Education.
It's long past time for the Catholic Church in the United States to acknowledge and address the fact that in many, possibly most, dioceses, parish-based catechesis has been an abject failure. In the vaunted Year of Faith, it should sting all of our leaders and pastors that few of the ever-dwindling percentage of Catholics in the pews on a Sunday morning could pass a basic catechetical quiz. How many Gen X Catholics could name one of the precepts of the Church or recall any one set of the Mysteries of the Rosary? How many of our teenagers could list all Ten Commandments? How many First Communicants could recite the Acts of Faith or Hope, or name the Seven Sacraments? The terrible, tragic, and fundamental truth for 21st-century Catholicism is, not many!

It's beyond my scope here to say how devastating and even cruel it is for the Church Militant to perpetuate Her systemic failure in this area. Ignorance leads to suffering. Religious ignorance leads to eternal death.
We are awash in a broader culture of banality, ugliness, and stupidity, and we have several generations of disciples who are completely incapable of coping with it because of their double ignorance of their faith. Double ignorance, from Plato, means they don't know, and they don't know that they don't know.
6.  Our parochial vicar is leaving this weekend.  He has been with us for four years.  When he came I made up my mind that I wasn't going to get too attached to him because this wasn't a permanent gig.  But... well you know how it is.  

He officiated my sister's wedding

Kay's wedding 028

and helped Mr. Pete and me renew our vows.

He also officiated at Sam's high school graduation
and counseled Gabe when he was having doubts
and entombed my mother's ashes
and gave a talk to my homeschool group at my request

and left an imprint on our lives.

darn it...   I'm going to miss him.

7.  and Rosie, sweet Rosie turned 8.

Rosie's 8th birthday 2013 004

Rosie's 8th birthday 2013 001

Rosie's 8th birthday 2013 008

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