“When is our class going to sign the Book of the Remembrance?” asked my first period of sixth-grade students. It was now several days after All Souls Day, and they were concerned I had forgotten our plan to pray for loved ones who had passed away. “Friday,” I answered, “so that we are not interrupting morning Mass at the cathedral and will have more of an opportunity to pray.” Their nods of approval showed they both understood the delay and would not be forgetting the new plan.
Teaching middle school religion in Tennessee at the local K–8 Catholic school, my classroom consists of students who are majority Christian, most of whom are Catholic, with a number of students who are Methodist, Baptist, and Episcopalian. Students with different religious backgrounds, even just within the Christian traditions, increase the ability and need for fruitful ecumenical dialogue and living within our classroom.