THANK YOU, ANNUNZIATA!
As I hope you saw in the St. Louis Review, the 2021 Annual Catholic Appeal was blest by God through YOUR generosity in support of outreach to the poor, Catholic education, Evangelization, our Seminary and Newman Centers, our efforts to help with unwanted pregnancies, Catholic Charities, and so much more in the service of the Gospel.
Special thanks to YOU, the parishioners of Annunziata, for meeting the challenge of Biblical Stewardship as you pledged $304,418.00!
JESUS, OUR TEACHER
In the Catholic Church, catechist is a term used of anyone engaged in religious formation and education. To catechize means to teach by word of mouth. In 1975 St. Paul VI spoke about the importance of the Baptized using their gifts for the growth of Christ’s Church. St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have pointed out how teachers of the Faith were present from the earliest days and were recognized as having a special gift of the Holy Spirit.
As Church, we recognize that parents are the first, and primary teachers of their Children in the ways of the Faith. Parents and Priests are most grateful for our Catechists who assist Parents in their God given ministry.
A GREAT CHALLENGE
Right now, almost one out of every three young people (those under the age of 40) claim no religious affiliation. These numbers hold true for Catholics as for non-Catholics. What statistics don’t show is the pain felt by so many parents who watch their children drift away. Those who have raised kids in the faith, went to Mass on Sundays, sent their children to religious education programs or to Catholic schools, feel this pain most deeply.
In her book, “Forming Intentional Disciples”, Sherry Weddell points out that Catholics always thought that the Catholic Faith is inherited. One is “born Catholic,” or “a cradle Catholic”. This is no longer true! On any given day, there are a great number of parents praying that their teenage or adult children return to their Catholic faith, get married in the Church, or have their grandchildren Baptized.
There is a lot of anger and a lot of guilt swirling around this topic. Blaming people does no good. Weddell believes that a fundamental problem in the Church —including priests and parents — is a lack of personal relationship with Christ. We follow the rules, we do the right things, but we really don’t know Jesus, and we don’t do a good job of talking about our relationship with Jesus. For many people that feels, well, Protestant. For the same reason, it can be hard for some of us to communicate with our children, adult or otherwise, what Jesus means to us, who Christ is in our lives.
Weddell points also to the reality that for many people, they simply don’t have time to invest in Faith.
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