September 1-2, 2018

Aug 27, 2018

 

In last Sunday’s first reading from the OT book of Joshua, we heard Joshua stand before all the tribes of Israel and call them to a decision about following the Lord. “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” The people, acknowledging all that God had done for them, for protecting them on the journey and bringing them out of slavery in Egypt, also declared, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord for the service of other gods…. We will serve the Lord, for he is our God.” I have always liked Joshua’s declaration: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” While there certainly are successful households that share different faith traditions, for many of us faith is a family affair. A shared faith can deepen the bond between spouses and families. Passing on the faith is a sacred parental duty. When parents present a child for baptism, the priest or deacon reminds the parents that in asking for baptism they are “accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor.” And he deliberately asks, “Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?” 

We hope and trust that parents will take this responsibility seriously. Parents are the first religious education teachers of their children! However, our parish community is eager and ready to assist parents in sharing and passing on our faith. We are now registering children for this year’s religious education program. This year we are considering ways of having parents more involved in the religious education of their children. Diane Klucka, our Faith Formation Director, will be sharing ideas with parents soon. We will likely be having a monthly session for parents where they can be aware of what their children are learning and find ways to reinforce that at home. We will likely be asking parents to cover some lessons at home during busy times for the parish, e.g., the Christmas holidays. (Events in the parish often make us miss class time.) We realize that sometimes parents don’t feel up to the task, but we are here to help and think that parents will actually find this a learning experience and renewing for them! 

We also want to encourage parents and children to celebrate the Eucharist together. Since our classes will take place on Sundays after the 10:00 AM as very much part of the religious education program and process. Think of it this way. Religious education doesn’t start after mass; it starts with mass! 

Thanks to our generous catechists and aids for helping share their love for the Lord and for passing on the faith to our precious children. 

Fr. Jeff