Today we begin the celebration of National Religious Education Week. This celebration came out of the Year of Faith Pope Benedict declared two years ago. Forming one another in the faith is fundamental to parish life so giving some intentional thought to what we do is important.
According to the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, “catechesis nourishes, forms and deepens the faith one receives through the ministry of the parish.” Even though many of our parishioners are familiar with faith formation opportunities here at St. Francis Xavier, I would like to highlight a bit of what we have to celebrate this week.
For the formal Faith Formation Program of our youth the word this year is ‘change.’ We are excited to have two new people working with our faith formation program. Shelby Vaske coordinates Grades 1–3 in addition to her work keeping us all organized through the Faith Formation Office. We welcome Jake Schwendinger as our new Director of Youth Ministry.
We also have new curriculum!
Grades 1–5 are using Alive in Christ (Our Sunday Visitor). This program adds a very nice online resource for our children to use games and reviews, and for our parents to find resources on parenting, prayer, our Sunday readings, and more.
Grade 6 & 7 continue to use materials from St. Mary’s Press to reflect on how God continues to reveal God’s self from the time of Abraham and Sarah to today, with the most complete revelation being through Jesus Christ.
We are excited to share a brand new resource with our 8th & 9th grade families and young people called Disciple. Again, the online component brings it into the homes as well as the small faith sharing group time spent here in the parish.
And our new Confirmation preparation program is Decision Point from Matthew Kelly–the speaker that will close our week on Saturday, November 8. If you have not made plans to come, it’s not too late!
All of this is most effective when it is lived in our homes and nourished through parish ministry. Think of all the parish ministries at St. Francis Xavier that model for us Christian service and invite us to continue our own faith formation: Befrienders, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Health and Wellness, Adult Bible Study groups, Celebrating the Word with Children on Sundays, our wonderful funeral ministry with the great food that nourishes our bodies and souls–to name a few. We cannot forget the good faith formation that happens in our Catholic school as well.
Thank you for the many ways you support these efforts– especially through your presence and prayers. This would be a good time to thank our wonderful catechists and assistants! By
their presence and sharing their faith, we are all enriched.
Please help us kick off our week of celebration by coming to our Teaching Mass on Monday, November 3rd at 6:30 pm.