September 19, 2021 | Catechetical Sunday
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
– Mark 9:36-37
Brothers & Sisters,
You will not likely see any store advertisements to generate awareness or sales around September 19th, Catechetical Sunday. You even probably neglected to plan a backyard celebration with your family and friends to commemorate this day. True, Catechetical Sunday can fly under the radar for many, yet it is more than worthy of celebrating. Why? Today marks something significant for the wellbeing of any Parish — the teaching of our faith or the beginning of CCD or Religious Ed classes (depending on your generation).
Our parish takes religious education seriously. That’s why we are constantly embracing best practices regarding learning, including programs to widen the “student” population to all ages. We are thrilled to offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) for OLPH’s youngest learners. CGS recognizes that preschoolers and kindergartners are amazing little sponges that learn best with a hands-on approach, teaching the liturgy through what students see and touch. At the other end of the spectrum, we have eliminated the mentality of graduating at OLPH! This philosophy is evident by our ever-growing Adult faith opportunities. Like our many Men’s and Women’s Ministries, RCIA, for those learning about and considering joining the Catholic Church, retreats, small faith groups, and bible studies (be sure to check out the Beatitudes and Francis of Assisi Study this Fall). Plus, with the stocked bookrack in the Narthex and our parish’s free online subscription to formed.org, parishioners have access to a rich faith-focused library that includes print, podcasts, and videos!
For our youth, from elementary to high school age, the role of first catechists is emphasized, which isn’t claimed by an OLPH priest, deacon, or staff member — nope! Parents rightfully command this responsibility during Baptism as their kids’ first teachers of the faith, along with their Parish community lending support. After all, a parent knows their child best and what personal teaching preferences they have. And, when families learn about their faith together, an “add-on” class is transformed into a real-life encounter, where the family naturally returns to listen at the feet of Jesus, our divine Teacher, always eager to impart knowledge and wisdom.
So this day worthy of remembering, Catechetical Sunday, join me as we extend a special blessing to those who volunteer to teach the faith. God Bless You! Thank you for partnering with us in forming a generation of engaged and committed disciples.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett