A Message to our Catechists

Dear Catechists,

We, the parishioners of the parish family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, thank you. Thank you for your yes to God’s call to share the beauty and wonder of our Catholic Faith. Thank you for the time, effort, and sacrifice you place in teaching others about the faith which you yourselves love.

What is a Catechist? Perhaps it is fitting to start with what a catechist is not. A catechist is not just being a teacher. For you, as catechist, are a living witness to Jesus. Being a catechist is not simply a “side thing,” something you do to “give back” to God. While this is true and good you have also become a primary source of faith education for most of the children and teenagers that come to your classes.

I believe that one of the greater ‘illnesses’ afflicting Catholics today is ignorance of what the Church actually teaches and believes. As a result, the only time many of the children will hear about God and Catholicism will happen when it is coming from your teaching and example.

The Church has developed a well-known Latin adage that states Nemo potest dare quod non habet, that is: you cannot give what you do not have. In order to form others you must form yourselves first in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truths of the Catholic Faith. In prayer, I encourage you, our catechists, to draw water from the living fountain of Christ’s heart, which in turn sustains us in all of our endeavors.

As catechists you have a beautiful mission. You can inspire a whole generation of Catholics (our children AND their families). Be assured of the prayers of the people of our parish family that you are strengthened by the awareness that the Lord is with you –even when it may feel at times like our children aren’t. To end this letter, I think a beautiful quote from St. Catherine of Siena will suffice: “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze.”

To Mrs. Bross, Miss Lalli, our catechists and aides, may the light of Christ’s love for you and our children be your strength and comfort this new academic year,

Your Grateful Fellow Parishioners.