bishop's letter to catechists
CATECHETICAL SUNDAY - September 11, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Sunday, September 16, 2012, the Church in the United States will celebrate Catechetical Sunday, a day especially set aside in order for all of us to give thanks to God for the faithful service and witness of the nearly 5,000 volunteers who hand on the saving message of the Gospel to the 40,000 children and young people enrolled in our parish religious education programs.
The theme of this year's Catechetical Sunday is "Catechists and Teachers as Agents of the New Evangelization." Pope Benedict XVI has made the "New Evangelization" a central priority for the Church, which is constantly called to announce the Good News of God's creating, redeeming and sanctifying words and deeds to each generation. The Church's mission of evangelization is new, not in its content, which is simply the abiding Word of God, but in its methods and zeal. As agents of the new evangelization, all catechists and teachers are invited to rededicate themselves with joy to the task of handing on the precious heritage of our Catholic faith to all whom they teach and serve.
This year's celebration of Catechetical Sunday takes place shortly before the opening of the Year of Faith. Proclaiming the Gospel and helping our children and young people grow in faith is a wonderful privilege and a great responsibility. On this Catechetical Sunday, all of us can be grateful for the generosity and love of so many who teach and form the next generation of disciples. All of us can be grateful, too, for the catechists and teachers who will publicly profess their faith - the same faith they will impart in parishes, schools and families, the same faith that unites us as one in the communion of the Church, the same faith that offers us eternal life.
As the Church throughout the United States, and especially here in the Diocese of Arlington, celebrates Catechetical Sunday, let us pray for all catechists and teachers - including parents, guardians, women and men living the consecrated life, deacons, and priests - that as agents of the "New Evangelization," they may be strengthened in their faith and enlivened in their dedication to spread the Gospel and lead others to know, love and serve the Lord in order that all may have life in His name.
Faithfully in the Heart of Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S.Loverde
Bishop of Arlington