Padre Paul’s Ponderings: Planting Mustard Seeds

About two decades ago I made the choice to be a catechist. Every Sunday night, I went to Saint Vincent’s and helped to lead a group of eighth graders in talking and learning about the faith. Now was every eighth grader on fire to talk about religion on a Sunday night? No. But do I believe those youth learned more about their faith? I do. I was helping as part of a team to pass the faith on, and over that year, I grew as a person, and my hope is that those youths, now in their 30s, grew too in their understanding of the faith. Just as growth sometimes takes place below the surface and we don’t always see it, the same is true with our faith. Sometimes growth is obvious – and you see it as a catechist. Other times it’s a little more hidden. Both types of growth involve the Holy Spirit, and people who are willing to help the growth happen. That’s where you come in.

We need a team to help pass the faith on to our young.

As you know we rely on an army of catechists to come and help pass on the faith to our young people too during the school year when we have faith formation at our parish.

Right now, we have a need with 82 positions to fill.

These include:

 Catechists, who lead small groups of students throughout the year and plan pre-selected lessons; along with substitutes to fill in and provide support; hall monitors who help maintain safety in the halls as well as monitoring the entrances to the building; gym supervisors who help supervise gym activities, and people to help set up for faith formation night.

We also have need for volunteers to assist with the Youth EXPO, in particular on the 2nd and 4th Sunday evenings of September through April to help lead small group discussions and activities. (No lesson planning required)

For our confirmation program, we are in need of people to help with the retreat. Needed for this is a small group facilitator to lead discussions; a hospitality crew to prepare snacks and lunch and a registrar to greet and get youth checked in. For the program throughout the year we are also in need of presenters who present on predetermined topics that they go over with the director, and mentors to help develop and maintain a pastoral relationship with candidates and help guide the candidates on their faith journey.

Finally we are also looking for people interested on being in the Youth EXPO and Confirmation Committees as our programs are always being fine tuned.

When you become a catechist, you will make a difference and play an important role in helping to pass on the faith. If you talk to some of our veteran catechists or those who have journeyed with youth through confirmation, they’ll have plenty of stories to share of how the faith began to come alive in our youth. For others, it might be a number of years from now and they return to the faith in part because of the mustard seeds that you helped plant. Whether you are leading a group, monitoring the hall or helping on a retreat, by simply giving of your time you are making a lasting impact on living out what Jesus told us, to go and baptize and make disciples of all nations.

I hope you will prayerfully consider getting involved in faith formation which begins Sept. 6thYou can sign up on the board as you leave Mass, or by going to our website and following the tabs to faith formation, or emailing or contacting Esther Jaeger at 651-423- 4402 x 3225.

By working together, we can do so much to help fan the flames of faith in our young people. Thank you for considering this important ministry!

God bless,   ~Fr. Paul