At the heart of evangelization is the parish. It is there that we celebrate our Catholic faith. It is there that we deepen our faith. It is there that we enrich our faith and it is there that we pass on our faith.
As we observe National Parish Religious Education Week, we recognize the important role that our parish Religious Education Program plays in Evangelization. Religious educators are deeply involved in all four of these elements of evangelization through the parish’s role as the hub of lifelong faith formation programs.
Gone are the days when religious education was something only for children. We realize now that our faith life is one of continual conversion and deepening understanding and spiritual development that not only enriches our faith but our participation in liturgical celebrations.
Of course, faith formation must begin in the home, but religious education programs for our children, particularly when they involve the family, insure that their spiritual growth parallels their physical and mental growth. Lifelong faith formation means we no longer try to develop an adult faith with only a First Communion or maybe Confirmation spirituality.
During this week, I particularly want to honor our religious educators, volunteer and professional, who dedicate themselves to the important work of teaching our faith and keeping it dynamic, lest it become stagnant and lacking vitality. Please join me by thanking the religious educators in your parish. May God bless them as they do the Lord’s work!