I suspect you have all heard the phrase, “That’s not my job!” It’s one of many ways that can be used both for good and bad. Sometimes it is very important to have clear boundaries and expectations in terms of responsibilities, be it in the workplace, at school or at home. Knowing “what is my job” and what is not, can help me do what I have been asked to do and need to do.
Learning one’s faith, coming to belief, having a relationship with God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is central to who we are as human beings and as Roman Catholics. Faith and reason go hand-in-hand. Clear understanding and knowledge of what the Catholic Church teaches is meant to lead us into a deeper personal relationship with the Holy Trinity.
This in turn helps us to understand who we truly are and how we are to live and treat others. Catholicism is not simply some moral and ethical framework on which to base our lives. It is also and most importantly a living relationship with the Lord that is meant to inform every aspect of our lives.
This is why the Catholic Church says that the locus of faith formation is the family. It is in this role as parents, grandparents, godparents and others at home—physically or virtually—to pass on this deep treasure of the faith. By sharing your faith in word and example, you form them as disciples of Jesus Christ who loves them. Jesus has given us the Church so that together, we might help build the kingdom of God.
According to canon law, the law of the Church, it is my responsibility as pastor to assure adequate preparation for the sacramental life of the faithful. That is why we provide assistance to you as families through our faith formation ministries. We are here to help you. We are here to assist you. We are not here to take over your job as the primary catechists (teachers) of your children.
We take this responsibility very seriously. Today we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. We have been preparing all throughout the summer in the midst of fluctuating circumstances to be able to provide opportunities for your children to grow in their faith in partnership with you parents. We are here to help you. Please help us.
How? M.A.S.S.—Make all Sundays Sacred. Start here at the center of our faith with celebrating Mass with your family every Sunday—not some Sundays, not occasionally, or not when it’s convenient, but every Sunday. It is the Lord’s Day.
Bring your children to whatever faith formation opportunity you have registered them. Bring them consistently. Encourage them. Ask them what they studied or discussed. Take the conversation deeper. Don’t allow it to be just a superficial, throwaway answer. Engage them in conversation. Yes, this will take time and extra effort, yet how else can they come to know the Truth? This is a huge responsibility. Please don’t think that “It’s not my job!” It is!
Thank you once again.
To all of you who participated in our retreat last weekend titled “Stewardship in the Family,” I am most grateful. I especially thank the Stewardship Council and the parish staff for their hard work in helping to make it such a wonderful experience. We had hoped that many families would be able to participate in order to deepen their understanding of their home as the Domestic Church, the place where disciples of Jesus Christ are formed.
If you were unable to attend, the talks are online on our YouTube channel. It would be great to sit together as a family, watch them and then discuss them.
Stewardship is a disciple’s response for all the gifts that God has given to us. It is an invitation to receive, develop, and increase and then share them on behalf of building up the Kingdom of God. It is key to understand that our time, talents and treasure increase as we share them with others as we follow Jesus Christ in our practical and everyday circumstances. It is the paradox that as we give to others, we are blessed more and more, often in ways we never expect.
So thank you once again for sharing your gift of time in prayer, your talents in service and your treasure to giving financially for the support of the ministries of our parish. Let us continue our efforts in understanding and developing the deep meaning of stewardship in our lives so that we might form true disciples of Jesus Christ and one day might hear, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of your Master.”
In Christ, through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio, I love you,