We are now past Labor Day, which means that for students of all ages, the academic year has begun. Public schools, private school, and homeschools have commenced their annual task of educating our children and young adults. For us as a parish, that means it will soon be time to commence for our (more formalized) task of educating our children as well.
All children between 1st and 10th grade should be in some form of faith education. For most of our children up through 8th grade, that means our Children’s Religious Education program that meets on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 -7:00 PM in the St. Mary’s hall. Enrollment forms can be found in the vestibules of both churches, and can be mailed in or brought in person to the parish office. Our parish has, for many years, also offered Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atrium). We have lost a few of our catechists in recent years due to moving on or retirement, but families who have been a part of that program in the past should be hearing more soon.
Our parish also runs a two-year Confirmation Preparation program for those in 9th grade and above. Those meetings will take place on Wednesday evenings this year. Enrollment for the Confirmation Prep will take place on-line only; information can be found on the main parish web page.
Learning more about God, and our Catholic faith, is not restricted to children only! Those who are not Catholic but who wish to learn more about our faith and explore the possibility of becoming Catholic should enroll in our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program, which will be meeting on Monday evenings this year.
For the adults of the parish as a whole, there will be opportunities as well. Being currently “down a priest” with the loss of Fr. Ignatius, it may be a struggle to offer our Adult Faith Formation classes as often as we have in the past, but even if it is on a more limited basis, we plan to continue to offer those lectures for everyone. We also have our Third Thursday for Seniors program which offers seniors a monthly lunch and spiritual, educational and social programming. See the Opportunities to Get Involved page of the bulletin for more details.
Finally, for those who might not be aware, there is an amazing series of videos that is being produced by our brother Dominicans at the House of Studies. The series is called “Aquinas 101” and provides a systematic program of learning about our faith drawn especially from the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas. The videos are short enough that even those with busy schedules should be able to “fit in” a video from time to time. Please see aquinas101.thomisticinstitute.org for information on how to access those free videos.
As many of us learned from the Baltimore Catechism as small children, the answer to the question, “Why did God make me?” begins with our intellect: “God made me to know Him, to love him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.”
Now THAT is true wisdom.
Fr. John Paul