Pastor’s Reflection for August 28, 2016
One of the most important issues in the Church today is adult faith formation. We have many of our faithful Catholics who are very ignorant in the faith. I personally see this in meeting with couples preparing to receive the sacrament of marriage, baptism and even confirmation. For many adults who have been Catholic for years, the last time they studied their faith was when they received Confirmation. We all need to continually grow in our faith, for this will help us to know the Lord, to live lives that are fulfilled and to walk in the ways that will lead to eternal life in heaven. We have many opportunities for growing in the faith. For those who have children in our religious education program, we are now spending time to educate parents in their faith so they will be able to hand it down to their children. Parents are the first teachers of their child in the ways of their faith. They teach by word and example. Relationship with Jesus and knowing His ways are the most important areas to teach their children. After all, we do want our children to inherit eternal life in heaven.
We do offer during the year DVD series to grow in the faith. We have an Arise program and bible study as avenues to grow. We also have renewed our subscription to Formed. Formed is a subscription based website that provides essential resources to understand, live and share the Catholic faith. The program provides video based study programs, audio presentations, movies and ebooks. There are 40 full length feature films, dozens of inspiring ebook, over 300 episodes of video-based study programs. I have watched the program “In His Footsteps”. This is a wonderful program for those who have been or not been to the Holy Land. It shows all the sites of where Jesus walked. You can watch all these programs anytime from the comfort of your home. It is very convenient to grow in the faith. All you need is to go to Formed.org, enter the parish code e5d163 and then set up your own password.
We are living in a very pagan culture. Statistics from the 2016 CARS report, the 2015 Pew Forum say that six times as many leave as enter the Church, over 43% drop in Catholic marriage since 2000 and 79% of those who leave the Church do so by age 23. Let us pray for a new evangelization, for we have good news to share. God created us, He saved us and is with us. He is a God of love, mercy, compassion, a God of justice who will never abandon us, but will not force us to love Him whom our souls thirst. Because of Him we have the hope of eternal life, but also knowing that eternal death awaits those who reject Him. Let us say yes to His love.
We pray for all those going off to college. May the Lord’s blessing be upon you as you enter a new chapter of your life.
I will be available for confessions this week on Tuesday, August 30, from 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.
God love you,