My Dear Parishioners,
This Sunday is Catechetical Sunday. It is a special recognition of all those who give of their time, effort and skills to see that our parishioners have the opportunity to be properly formed in the faith. This includes all those involved in St. Joseph/ St. Robert School – teachers, principal, administration, staff, and volunteers. We also recognize and thank those involved in faith formation in our CCD program, including our program director and catechists, assistants, staff and volunteers. In addition we are grateful for the members of our RCIA team, youth formation team and Pre-Jordan instructors. They play a crucial role in preparing and instructing our youth and adults to come into the faith, or complete their initiation. We thank them for all they do in handing on the kingdom. Please pray for them and ask God to bless them for the very good work they do.
The 2018 theme for Catechetical Sunday is “Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.” In his 2018 message for Catechetical Sunday, Bishop Robert Barron said:
We are living in a secularized society which continues to squeeze Christianity to the margins, or completely out of engagement with Jesus Christ and the Church.
We are losing baptized Catholics at an alarming rate. According to Pew Research, nearly one-in-four Hispanic adults (24%) are now former Catholics and most of them are “nones,” a term used for people with no religious affiliation.
Many parents are saddened to report that their children are leaving the Church after preparing for and celebrating initiation sacraments, and after years of Catholic School or parish religion classes. Figures for Baptisms, Church weddings and weekly Mass attendance are down. Those who self-identify as atheists or agnostics (“Nones”) now make up roughly 23% of the U.S. adult population.
Bishop Barron goes on to encourage us to examine the causes eroding faith and moving people to step away from life in Christ and his body, the Church. He also encourages us to discover some of the many groups of missionary disciples already enlisted and engaged as witnesses for Jesus Christ. Hopefully many more will be able to learn about and join in their efforts.
As a reminder, we are all catechists, in that we should join together in passing on the faith. If you know someone who is considering joining the Catholic Faith, or someone who maybe simply needs to be asked, now is the time. We are holding our special Night of Inquiry on Wednesday, September 26th at 7:00 p.m. in classroom 18. No commitment is necessary; it is just to find out what is involved. Also we are in real need of adults who are interested in our faith and willing to become members of our Team. Last year we revised our process and it seemed to work fairly well. The lessons are taught by DVD, but we need adults who can facilitate and lead a dialogue about the faith. You don’t need to be a professional speaker or teacher, but just someone who is in love with our faith and willing to share that with others. Many times, the leaders tell me that they receive just as much from the work as the candidates and catechumens. Please contact me if interested.
God Bless You!