As catechists in our parishes, they live out their baptismal commitment to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. Teaching pre-schoolers, grade school and high school students, and adults is not always an easy task. But catechists volunteer each year to serve in Catholic schools and religious education programs.
Sowers of God's Peace. The theme for this year's Catechetical Sunday - observed on Sept. 21 - is very appropriate in our troubled times: Sowers of God's Peace. Catechists indeed sow the seeds of faith, hope, and love in their students.
Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Catechesis, commented on this theme: "Sowing the seeds of God's peace is a day-to-day process. As people of hope, we believe the Lord will help our seed-sowing efforts so that the Word will take root, blossom, and spread."
In the bishops' manual for Catechetical Sunday, the following are offered as some ways to sow God's peace:
Pray for peace every day. Instead of being overwhelmed by accounts of war, violence, poverty, and disease, be reminded by prayer of God's strength and abiding love.
Engage in communities of faith. Strength lies in numbers. Reactivate your involvement in parish, diocesan, or national organizations that work for justice and promote peaceful means of resolving conflict.
Act for justice. Through financial assistance or a commitment of your time, support institutions that are dedicated to taking care of the "least among us."
Choose the language of peace. Words hold great potential for being helpful or harmful. Cultivate ways of speaking and writing that affirm and heal at home, in the workplace, and on the street.
Encourage catechetical ministers. Write a note, make a phone call, or send an e-mail to a catechist or catechetical leader in your parish. Let them know you appreciate what they do for the good of the church.
Educate yourself. I would add another suggestion. Educate yourself about what the church teaches. We don't "graduate" from learning about our faith; it's a life-long process. Consider attending a church-based adult education program or study on your own. Read the Catholic Herald each week [subscribe to the print edition here]; it includes a variety of articles to enrich your faith, including Bishop Robert C. Morlino's excellent column, "Under the Gospel Book."
A new resource for Catholics is the Faith Alive! series being carried on the Spirituality Page on the Catholic Herald's Web site. Go to www.madisoncatholicherald.org and learn how you can be sowers of God's peace and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.
Mary C. Uhler, editor