The Catholic Church recently celebrated Catechetical Sunday in dioceses throughout the United States. What does that mean to you?
Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity to express gratitude to the hundreds of people in our archdiocese – the catechetical leaders, catechists and teachers in parishes and schools – for all that they do to hand on the Gospel message and form the young in the ways of faith. We’re also very grateful for those who are leaders in adult faith formation programs, RCIA leaders and other programs who enable people to know Jesus, to accept his Gospel message and to live the Catholic faith.
The culture today sometimes seems to drown out the voice of Christ.
Yes. In our day and age, there are many voices out there that do not represent the message of Christ or the teachings of the church. This obviously makes the voice of catechists and teachers even more important. Bishop Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, recently wrote about the erosion in the culture that “continues to squeeze Christianity to the margins or completely out of engagement with Jesus Christ and the Church.”
What is the role of parents in educating their children in the faith?
The baptismal rite reminds us that parents are to be the first and the best teachers of their children in the ways of faith. While catechetical programs and Catholic schools provide assistance to parents in this important role, we invite parents to nurture the faith formation of their children. They can do this by discussing the teachings of the church and reading the Scriptures with their children, but most of all, their best teaching comes from the way they live and how they regularly celebrate Mass on Sunday with their children. Jesus was the best of teachers, and all those who share in his ministry of teaching are a great blessing to the church. We thank God for you. I also extend God’s abundant blessings to parents. You not only have had the privilege of giving life to your children, but you also have the privilege of sharing with them the life of Christ.
Do you have any resources for parents in deepening their faith life?
One of the online links suggested by our Office of Religious Education is a Three-Minute Retreat. You can find it at https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer. I would like to close by thanking God for our catechists. Here is “A Prayer for Catechists” (from Loyola Press):
Loving God, Creator of all things, you call us to be in relationship with you and others. Thank you for calling me to be a catechist, for the opportunity to share with others
what you have given to me. May all those with whom I share the gift of faith discover how you are present in all things. May they come to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide my heart and lips,
so that I may remain constant in loving and praising you. May I be a witness to the Gospel and a minister of your truth.
May all my words and actions reflect your love.
Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.