Jesus told his followers that Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. We experience that in a rich way in our Sunday liturgy. We also experience that in the many other activities that make us, as a parish community, a true witness of Christ’s active presence in our world.
This Sunday is known as Catechetical Sunday throughout parishes in Quebec. It is a time to focus on catechesis, which is the handing down of the faith. As the message from the President of the Quebec Catholic Bishops says for this occasion: “The joy of following Jesus is not something that can be taught, nor is it revealed through persuasive speeches, no matter how eloquent they may be. We can only witness to it and give others the desire to commit themselves to undertake the same road which is often demanding but also exciting.”
Faith formation, or catechesis, is an ongoing process which is broader than sacramental preparation for children. When it is well done, faith formation leads people to greater communion with the person of Jesus Christ by incorporating them into a community which lives, celebrates and bears witness to the faith.
Such a community reaches out to the world around it, bringing the Good News to the world through its care and concern for the poor, the discouraged, the lonely. Such a community passes on its faith to all its members, including children preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation. Such a community nourishes its faith life and fosters rich liturgical moments. And such a community creates opportunities to come together in fellowship. These are what we know as the four poles of parish life.
Catechesis, then, is directly linked to the well-being of the parish community, in all four poles of parish life: liturgy, faith formation, fellowship, and service/outreach. We need a parish that is healthy in all four poles of parish life in order for the parish to truly be a school of catechesis. All of us can play a role in contributing our talents to make this happen.
To help parishioners find out more about all the activities at St. Mark’s, and how they can contribute to our parish community, we are holding a parish-wide introduction evening, Monday, September 24 at 7:30. The leaders of the various activities will be invited to briefly present what their ministry is about, and to introduce the people who make that ministry possible. At 8:30, we will gather for refreshments so that parishioners can make contact with the leaders of ministries which might interest them.
Please join us and find out how your skills and talents can help our parish community witness to Christ’s active presence in our world.