This weekend we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only pray for our parish catechists who teach in the OLM Religious Education Program but we also commend parents and families and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation. At the 9:00AM Mass on Sunday we are to commission the men and women who volunteer to teach the some 400 children of our parish about the Catholic Faith. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity for every parishioner to reflect on the role they play, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. Many Catholics have used the word "catechism" for years, and they know it has something to do with the compendium of the Church's teachings. The root word, "catechesis," is from a Greek word meaning "to echo, or resound." Catechesis is the act of resounding or bringing the Church's teachings to the world. A catechist is one who teaches in the name of the Church.
Catechesis is a distinct and special ministry in the Church. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life . . . her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depend essentially on catechesis.” This ministry of teaching in the name of the Church has a profound dignity, which is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire church community to think about our responsibility to share our faith with others. In a very special way, we pray for our catechists and all those families enrolled in our Religious Education Program. On Catechetical Sunday, we are also reminded that parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. It is Catholic Parents who must prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. So please pray for the parents of the children in our Religious Education Program, that they may strive to fulfill the promise they made on the day of their child’s baptism to “teach them in the ways of the faith.”
I wish to thank Mickey St. Jean and Doug Green who direct our OLM Religious Education Program. They do exemplary work in ensuring the teachings of Christ and His Church are taught to our parish children with zeal, integrity and joy. We must also thank the men and women who volunteer to serve as teachers in our RE Program for their service and sacrifice. We thank the many families in our RE Program. They have chosen to prepare the future of our parish and Church by educating their children in the faith. We thank them for their willingness to ensure the faith is an importnat part of their family life and bringing their children to Christ in this way. Ours is a large program and it requires the work and dedication of many people along with the cooperation of the students and their families. We are grateful for their cooperation with our teachers and RE Directors. Working together to educate the children of OLM in the ways of the faith is critical to our parish life and future.
Pope Francis reminds parents: “We need simplicity to pray as a family! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer!” May we pray for all OLM families and may all OLM families pray!
Finally, a word of thanks to the many parishioners who were so kind in offering sympathy, prayers and Masses for my late brother Kevin whose Funeral Mass I celebrated last week. My family is truly grateful for your support and prayers at this time of grief and sadness. May he rest in peace.
Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!