We’re all called to proclaim the Word Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Sep. 17, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

editor's viewEvery Catholic has a call to teach, proclaim the Word of God, and pass along the faith to future generations. We are reminded of that call as we celebrate Catechetical Sunday this weekend on Sunday, Sept. 20, in our parishes and homes.

This year focuses on the theme, “Catechesis and the Proclamation of the Word.” In many parishes, those who serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. We thank all people who step forward to serve as catechists in our parishes, teaching everyone from pre-schoolers to adults.

Handing on the faith

In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reminds us that Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to rededicate ourselves to this mission.

How can we all be teachers and proclaimers of the Word, especially in our families? Here are just a few ways, with some suggestions gleaned from the USCCB Web site (

• Display the family Bible in a prominent place at home.

• Break open God’s Word in your home by dedicating some family time each week for a brief reading of a Scripture passage, perhaps the Sunday Gospel. This enriches the experience of family as a “domestic Church.”

• Parents with young children are encouraged to include as many Bible stories as possible in a child’s library and to devote time to reading and discussing the rich levels of meaning in the sacred stories.

• Couples and parents with children can choose to integrate family prayer time with the reading of Scripture, including praying the Liturgy of the Hours as a family.

• Another practical way to break open God’s Word in the home is through the practice of lectio divina with reading, meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Your family can adapt this ancient approach to a meditative and prayerful reading of Scripture in the home.

• Another often overlooked source for praying with Scripture are traditional Catholic prayers, such as the “Our Father,” the “Hail Mary,” and the Rosary. These prayers, being rooted in the Bible, can help families contemplate the life of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels.

• One practical way to make the Scriptures come alive is to assign a family member to gather artistic images that express the biblical themes of a Scripture passage. Let a painting, sculpture, stained glass, or piece of sacred music serve as a reference point for reflection on God’s Word.

Spiritually nourishing feast

When we pray with the Bible —  personally and in our homes  —  our encounter with the living Word of God is not just an intellectual exercise but a spiritually nourishing feast.

Many parishes in the Diocese of Madison are offering Bible study groups and educational programs. I encourage people to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the Sacred Scriptures. In addition, the new Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute is focusing on Sacred Scripture this fall.

Even attending Mass more frequently is one way to enrich our understanding of the Bible. Readings at daily Mass give us a deeper knowledge of the Word of God.

Let’s all consider ways we can expand and strengthen the ways we proclaim the Word in our daily lives.