Pastor's Corner 091513

posted Sep 11, 2013, 7:16 AM by Music Director

For many years now, the Church in the United States has designated the third weekend of September “Catechetical Sunday” to coincide with the beginning of the new school year.   For this reason, we will commission and bless our catechists who are entrusted with teaching the principles of the Catholic faith to the children of our community and those adults who seek membership in the church through the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation).  Also commissioned and blessed are our youth ministry leaders who help our young people to grow in living the principles of the faith.  Like our regional school, these programs of instruction and formation are a tremendous undertaking that is vital to the mission of every Catholic parish.  Therefore this commissioning and blessing will occur during the 4:30 PM Festival Mass, the principal celebration of our unity as a parish family. 

We are so fortunate to have wonderful and highly qualified directors of our parish-based religious education and youth programs:  Mrs. Mary Ann Exler, our Director of Religious Education and Pastoral Associate; Mrs. Roz Edman, who directs the RCIA process for adults seeing admission to the church; and Mrs. Chris Burnite, who oversees our Youth Ministry.  We are also extremely blessed in the many, many volunteer catechists and aides who give of their time, energy and talents to share the Catholic faith with the children and adults entrusted to their care.  Please keep all of these wonderful people in your prayers for successful ministry.  I hope and pray that all the young people of our parish will take part in the activities of these exciting ministries; but we need their parents to encourage them! 

I am very, very happy about the success of our summer Religious Education program.  Rather than attending classes during the school year, 780 children participated in the program instituted a few years ago where they come for a full week during the summer and commit to participating in other events throughout the year.  This actually provides our children with more hours of instruction and enables them to participate in more faith experiences than the traditional school-year model allows.  Because of its past popularity, we added a third week this summer to accommodate the number of children who enrolled, which was nearly double that of a year ago! 

The children responded extremely well to this method, their parents have been extremely pleased, and the staff couldn’t be happier with the results!  I’ve never seen so many happy, happy children who actually enjoy learning about and experiencing their faith as I have in summer programs such as this.  Again, this is all due to the tremendous efforts of our volunteer catechists and aides, parents, and, of course, Mary Ann and our wonderful Religious Education Staff. 

Again, in keeping with the celebration of our community at the Festival Mass, our new Pastoral Council will likewise be commissioned and blessed.  All parishioners are invited to attend Council meetings as observers.  Time permitting, the Chairperson can open the floor for direct questions from observers, but generally speaking these meetings follow a set agenda and therefore are not open forums (though occasionally a meeting may be designated as such if the need presents itself).  If there is an issue you wish the Council to address, kindly bring it to the attention of any Council member who will submit the topic for inclusion on the agenda of a future meeting.

New beginnings can be a scary time, but very exciting as well.  Just look at the first game of the season played by my beloved Eagles under the leadership of new coach Chip Kellyand the system of play he has brought to the team!  Pretty impressive, wasn’t it?  This season promises to be the most exciting in many years, and I can’t wait for the next game.  In the meantime, and more importantly, let us pray that our loving God will bless all of our efforts to fulfill our mission as His Church:  to go out to all the world (at least our little corner of it) and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ! 



In His Love,

Fr. Mike