At homily time a few Sundays ago, I asked jokingly from the pulpit a few questions taken from the now-defunct “Baltimore Catechism,” which was, as older Catholics remember, a lengthy instructional manual of questions and answers that young Catholic students in “Sunday School” classes were forced to memorize and repeat back to their teacher: “Who made me?” “God made me.” “Why did God make me?” “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” I was surprised at how many in the assembly that day remembered and responded openly and accurately the formulaic answers that they had learned from childhood!
This weekend, our parish joins the Universal Church in celebrating Catechetical Sunday. The theme for this year is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.” Catechetical Sunday makes us stop and think about how we first learned of God’s Love for us, but more, it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each baptized person plays in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.
Here at St. Joseph’s, we are blessed to have parents and grandparents who are actively engaged in teaching children about the Catholic faith and tradition, not only through catechesis, but also by example. We are doubly blessed to have faith formation leaders like Paula King and Annie Anderson – both of whom are school-teachers by profession – who minister collegially to ensure that the youth of the parish understand that living out their faith is, as the 2020 Catechetical Sunday theme proclaims, “an invitation to a wholeness of life given by Christ to hear the Word and to share it as wit-nesses of the true and living God.”