This Sunday is Catechetical Sunday in the Catholic Church throughout the United States. As the new school year is beginning, we thank all teachers of the faith, and especially our outgoing and our new Directory of Religious Education here at this parish, as well as the catechists who generously give of their time to hand on the faith for the next generation. We also recognize the dedication of our students who attend faithfully classes each Sunday and the parents, who are their primary educators. It is critically important that youth grow in their understanding and practice of the faith, both to enhance their own friendship with God and to help them be wise and effective examples of the faith to others. It is certainly true that a person of limited intellect can be very holy and a good witness of the faith. But when people have received great intellectual gifts it is important to develop those gifts as applied to the faith. We rightfully want our children to learn well such fields as math, science, history, reading and writing so that they can be effective members of society. All the more should we wish for them to grow in the understanding of their faith so that they will be more effective men and women of the greater kingdom.
We should also remember that education in the faith does not end with formal classes. Rather, as formal education is only the beginning of development as an intelligent adult, formal classes are only the beginning of one’s development as an intelligent Christian, who can join faith and reason together for oneself and for the Church. And so all Catholic adults should be continuously advancing in our understanding of the faith. Having a copy of the official Catechism and some good books the faith by such authors as Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Peter Kreeft, or Frank Sheen is a good start.
I also recommend tapping into the FORMED program that this parish subscribes to, which provides free Catholic educational programs, as well as movies and talks.
Reliable news sources such as the National Catholic Register, EWTN television station and website, newadvent.org and zenit.org help us understand current events as they really are. Using these and the many resources of the Church will help fulfill Jesus’ call for us to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth and the city set upon a hill. See Matthew 5:13-15.