I want to thank you so much for being willing to come and teach the children our beautiful Catholic Faith. To take the time from all the other things you could be doing, from your families and gift our program.
You are embarking on what John Paul II calls one of the Church’s primary tasks. Catechesis. For, as John Paul II points out in his Apostolic Exhortation “On Catechesis in Our Time”, before Christ ascended to his Father he gave his apostles a final command, “Go and make disciples of all nations , baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are being entrusted with the Real Riches of our church. Souls. John Hardon defines church simply as “The faithful of the whole world”. He refers to the Council of Trent when he goes on:
Since the Council of Trent the Catholic Church has been defined as a union of human beings who are united by the profession of the same Christian faith, and by participation of and in the same sacraments under the direction of their lawful pastors , especially the one representative of Christ on earth, the Bishop of Rome.
And so that which will make the Church truly rich is less bank accounts and beautiful buildings as it is beautiful souls. And we have been called to enrich our church by teaching and guiding souls in their journey to union with Christ and true beauty. You will be a conduit through which the souls of the children are nourished, strengthened and grown.
You have been called to fulfill one of the highest endeavors of the Church but in order to do it well, it must be done in all humility. So of course the question is, how? How do we fufill such a noble task?
As Saint Augustine once said, You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
And we need to be confident in this. The fullness of our Faith has what they want, whether they know it now or not,. We offer what they need. We offer them the path of true happiness, true peace, and true riches.
So whether it be the squirrely heart, the defiant heart, the disruptive heart, or the downtrodden heart, we must rest assured, in the bounty and balm of our faith.
And so I ask of you, I beg of you be mindful of your elevated calling.
Rest in His peace when things are difficult. Nourish yourself frequently at His Table. Drink deeply of His word. The Scriptures themselves are alive, truly alive and impart life to those who read them. And wash yourselves in His forgiveness.
For, when we teach we cannot give that which we do not have. And so as a Catechist I ask that you make time for your personal relationship with Christ, for He, according to john Paul II We all have but one teacher, and that is Jesus Christ. We are but a channel of His Life, His Love.
Executive Director, St. Croix Catholic Faith Formation