A Word From Our Pastor

Today the church is celebrating National Catechetical Sunday throughout our country. The purpose of this is to acknowledge the importance of the church’s teaching ministry, and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists. In our parish this Sunday, we take time to give thanks to God for our religious education teachers, for our RCIA teacher, and for the parents of our children who are the primary teachers of the faith to their children. But we are reminded that we all must be catechists. The word “catechetical” sounds like a technical word. But it comes from the Greek which means “to echo, or resound.” A catechist is one who echoes, or sounds just like Jesus. Now there are many Catholics who find it hard to echo Jesus, because they really do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Many Catholics come to church and/or practice their faith, without much awareness of Jesus being the center of their lives. If they did, they would have a lot more enthusiasm about their faith. Not long ago I overheard some parishioners speaking with great enthusiasm about political figures they hear speak. “I just love so & so…he/she is so great!” Yet I never hear these Catholics have the same enthusiasm for Jesus; they never say how much they love Jesus, and never show much energy for their faith here in the parish. It makes me feel sad. So this Sunday we begin our religious education program for the year ahead. As you must have heard by now, Bishop Libasci has implemented a change in the program, restoring the reception of sacraments to the way it was done in the early church. This means that our children will be receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion together in the 3rd grade. When they finish, a youth program of Faith Formation will be developed for our youngsters to continue on in their faith. But they still need role models in the faith. Parents will be strongly encouraged to participate in this new approach, because they are the first and the best of teachers by their example. Yet all of us are encouraged to participate in this new catechetical approach; to show to one another how much Jesus means to us. While this approach is a change, and we know that change is not easy, I invite all of us to see this as an opportunity to get Jesus back at the center of our lives. Can you imagine our children hearing their parents and other parishioners talking about how much they love Jesus at Mass?   Wow! That would cause an explosion of energy among our young people, who often do not want to come to church because they feel it is dull. So during this weekend’s Masses I ask you to pray for all the religion teachers, adult faith formatters, parents, and yourselves, that our work of educating our children into the faith will give them the light of Jesus that they need.        ~ Fr. John


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Diocese of Manchester

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street
Manchester, NH 03104-4396

T: (603) 669-3100
F: (603) 669-0377