My dear friends,
Where is the future of Saint Michael? It is in our children. This truth became obvious to me as we watched our photo history. Surely you also noticed all the children then participating in church activities – church school, the choir, and various pageants. So, where are our children today? Sleeping in? Playing video games? Socializing with friends?
How can we expect our children to grow into good Christians if they aren’t exposed to the same religious experience that we all had? How will they face the hardships of life that are sure to come if they haven’t known the scriptures and heard the Sunday lessons, if they haven’t experienced the persistent comfort of a loving community?
Of course, you care because you love your children and because you recall the promise that you made at their baptism. But do you care enough to make church and religious education a matter of priority? Do we have any option? We must make this a mission. Our Church School is not the answer. It is simply not working. One church school teacher has taken a new job that requires her to work Sundays. The other is struggling with teens who protest their lack of interest. Children are often absent, destroying all instructional consistency.
We desperately need a new approach to training our children in the faith that they will need as they grow. We must start with renewed commitment from parents to bring their children to Mass. And, after Mass, I think that we must sacrifice the first twenty minutes of our social gathering in order to gather adults and children together to explain and discuss the scriptures of the day. Cookies and socializing can wait. We have an important mission that can’t wait. All would be welcome, and learning will be a community activity. We can all witness to our faith and the importance of the scriptures in it. It is my firm belief that faith is more often caught than taught.
This will be a big change. Can we make it work? Only with your support. We will begin this formal education program on Sunday, November 5. I hope that I can count on your enthusiastic participation. Our children and our church are depending on you. Matthew relates at the end of his gospel the final directive from Jesus, “Go, therefore, and make disciples; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Our children have been baptized – now it is our duty of help them become disciples!