Why Is This Sunday So Special?
This Sunday, throughout the United States, Catholic parishes in each diocese will celebrate Catechetical Sunday. Those whom parish communities have designated to serve as catechists will be called forward to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that every person plays by virtue of their Baptism in passing along the faith and being witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the mission of Jesus as a community of faith.
What does the word “Catechetical” mean?
The word might be more familiar than you think. Many Catholics have used the word "catechism" for years, and they know it has something to do with the compendium of the Church's teachings. The root word, "catechesis," is from a Greek word meaning "to echo, or resound." Catechesis is the act of resounding or bringing the Church's teachings to the world. A catechist is one who teaches in the name of the Church.
Why do we have a special day set aside to commission Catechists?
Catechesis is a distinct and special ministry in the Church. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life . . . her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depends essentially on catechesis” (no. 7). This ministry of teaching in the name of the Church has a profound dignity; which is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire church community to think about our responsibility to share our faith with others.
How are parents, the primary Catechists of their children, recognized on Catechetical Sunday?
Parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. They prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed onto the next generation.
Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish is blessed by those adults who teach our children both in our Parish School and also in our Sunday Religious Education Program. We are grateful for their commitment and willingness to help our children know the Jesus story and develop a life-long relationship with the Lord.
Time, Talent and Treasure
What is one of the most precious commodities that you have today?
It is your time.
Most folks don’t have enough of it. We try to protect it and not waste it. When time is sparse, we struggle to do all that we want to do in 24 hours. Our daily schedules quickly become packed with responsibilities and obligations that revolve around work and family. The time we set aside to play, sleep, read, rest and pray can quickly evaporate. Often we have to choose what will be the best use of my time; and more importantly, who will I give my precious time to?
This weekend I am asking you to consider sharing some of your valuable time with our parish. Our Parish Ministry Fair this weekend outlines and describes several of the main areas in our parish life that are in need of volunteers. Please consider helping in one of our parish ministries that might suit your particular gifts and talents.
Perhaps teaching a young child about Jesus and our Catholic faith is your gift? Or, maybe you are really good at singing or playing a musical instrument? Or maybe something as simple as collecting food and clothing for the poor looks like it can be a rewarding experience for you.
I ask you to take a few moments to scope out after Mass today the various table presentations that describe several of our parish ministries. Feel free to ask questions from those parishioners who are already actively involved. They can explain their level of commitment and what we are looking for.
Sign-in up today! You will be immediately contacted. Training sessions will be provided. Yes, we need you! Our parish needs you!
Take A Look!
This weekend we welcome to our parish the Daughters of St. Paul who will be displaying books and bestsellers from their Pauline Bookstore located in downtown Chicago. Their display will take place at St. Joseph Church after the 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses. (In October, their display will be set-up at Immaculate Conception Church.)
Take a gander at their different Bibles. Pick up the latest writings by Pope Francis. Check out the material on the lives of the saints— like St. Teresa of Calcutta. Glance at the different readings you can use to enhance your spirituality. Look at some of special publications that highlight our Jubilee Year of Mercy. We are grateful that the sisters can be with us this Sunday.
“A Family of Families”
Next Sunday, September 25th, we are blessed to have Bishop Frank Kane visit our parish. He will celebrate the 11:00 a.m. Mass. I hope you will be able to join us as we celebrate the canonical combining of our two parishes that took place on July 1st this year. A simple reception will take place in the gym at the Hill Street campus of our Parish School.
At the 11:00 a. m. Mass I will be installed by Bishop Kane as the new pastor “Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish.” This may seem odd, given that I have been serving here for the past three years. However, the Archdiocese of Chicago technically has formed a new parish entity with the combination of our two parishes.
Also, the members of our Parish Pastoral Staff, Parish Council and Finance Committee will be acknowledged by Bishop Kane and commissioned to help serve as the leaders of our faith community. I will continue to work closely with them as they help me to set the direction of our parish and identify the needs of our community.
I hope you will be able share in this historical moment for Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish.