September 17, 2023
Dear Parish Family,
The third Sunday of September each year is celebrated as Catechetical Sunday to acknowledge and thank all catechists. Catechesis comes from a Greek word that means to echo. Our catechists echo the Faith to the children and adults in their care.
Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to remember and pray for all who have catechized us – all who have echoed the Faith to us. How did you learn the Faith? Who first taught you about God? Who introduced you to Jesus? Who taught you how to pray? Who helped you grow as a disciple? So many help us learn the Faith: family members, teachers, catechists, priests, deacons, consecrated religious sisters, friends, parish communities, and many more. Let us remember them in heartfelt and thankful prayer in a special way today.
Today, we honor and thank all catechists in our Parish Religious Education Program, home school programs, RCIA, Youth Ministry, Adult Faith Formation, Marriage Preparation, Baptismal Preparation, and all in the ministry of catechesis. These amazing people not only share their time and talent, but most importantly, they share their faith. We are so grateful for their generous and loving service. Many thanks to our parish catechetical leaders: Helen Kantes, Angelica Docog, Deb Salldin, and Sister Donna Marie Kemberling, SCC, for their dedication and faithfulness in echoing the Faith to us.
The Church firmly believes that parents are the first and best teachers of their children in the ways of Faith. Parents, thank you for taking this sacred responsibility seriously. We are here to support and partner with you in this important work.
Each of us – no matter who we are – is called to echo the faith. To share and encourage faith. A special way of echoing the faith is to invite those who are not Catholic to explore what the Catholic Faith is all about. Our efforts are not to be a hard sell or pressure driven approach. Rather, they should be a loving and gently invitation. Is there a family member, friend, neighbor, coworker that has somewhere along the way expressed an interest in the Catholic Church? Is there someone in our lives that has no faith family or tradition? Is there someone in our lives that is just waiting for someone to give them that nudge or to simply ask?
First, pray for that person that their journey of faith brings them to where God wants them. Second, gently ask them if they have ever considered the Catholic Church. Third, point them in Good Shepherd’s direction. There are many paths, many reasons, many experiences, and many seasons that lead us to God. We are here to help along the way.
Grace and peace,
Father Neil Sullivan