Congratulations to Reagan McGinty, who will receive her First Communion at the 10:30 am Mass this Sunday. May she always value the Body of Christ as the food that strengthens her to be a good disciple. Thank you to her parents for bringing her to this important step in her faith journey.
Our chapter for this week from Living the Gift of Sunday is “Sunday is the day that belongs to God.” I will be accompanying you in prayer, as you read and reflect on this chapter.
Just as the second Sunday of Easter is always Divine Mercy Sunday, the fourth Sunday is always Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus is certainly our Good Shepherd.
The analogy of a good shepherd involves a strong relationship. The sheep know the shepherd’s voice and will obey; the shepherd will go to great lengths to protect his sheep. It is a deep relationship, the kind of relationship mirrored by Mary Magdalene, who recognized Jesus by the way He said her name.
In all of my religious education as a child (called catechism, back then), a personal relationship with Jesus was never mentioned. It was always memorizing the catechism and other things about God and the Church.
In the last couple of years, our religious education has been transitioning to using the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Its goal is to help children, from an early age, build a personal relationship with the Lord. The sessions are held in dedicated spaces, called atriums, which have reproductions of Catholic items (for example, an altar and all things used in the Mass) and symbols. To this point, the atriums have been at Christ King; the opening of an atrium here at Pius has been delayed by the pandemic, but it will open this summer for K3-K5.
The children learn the basics of our faith, but, first and foremost, they build a personal relationship with the Lord. That strong relationship will help them weather the challenges that they will face as they transition into adulthood more than simply having information.
I strongly recommend this program for our children. And perhaps the children will help their parents strengthen their relationship with the Lord, as the parents are accompanying them.
Please keep our Director of Formation for Children (Samantha El-Azem), her assistants, and all our children in your prayers, that all may grow in a strong personal relationship with the Lord. I encourage you to enroll your child in this wonderful program by calling Samantha.
May we, also grow in our personal relationship with our Good Shepherd! God bless.
Church sign of the week: Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.