This weekend we recognize Catechetical Sunday. Many people are involved in handing on the faith to children and adults alike. First and foremost are parents, who are the primary educators of their children in the ways of faith. Do not underestimate the influence you have —even when you have a teenager that is doing everything you told them not to do (I had a brother like that). They remember. Parents are the strongest influence in most cases. It may at times seem daunting. But if you have a heart toward God, His grace can show forth where our efforts fall short. Also, know that helps are available for you and for your family. One such help are the many movies, videos, and audios available through formed.org (parish code M3WGTR).
Many teachers and catechists assist parents in our pastoral region in handing on the faith, though they can never replace the role of parents. Both of our schools, St. Joseph and St. Peter in Chains, are now in full swing. I am always encouraged when I call to mind the dedicated teachers in both schools. Our PREP (Pastoral region Religious Education Program) is in its second week. I am thankful for the catechists who give of their time on Sundays to help us. It takes many people willing to work for our Lord to make the program a success: catechists, co-catechists, classroom aids (sometimes high school students).
Our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) classes also meet on Sunday mornings. In addition to PREP catechists, we are always in need of catechists for RCIA. It can be very eye-opening for RCIA catechists to hear how others see the Catholic Church as they come in from the outside. In the future we may have a faith formation team of volunteers to assist. Helping others to know, love, and serve Christ Jesus is a big task. Thanks to the parents and catechists who share in that task!