Last Updated: Monday - 09/27/2010
November 6, 2006
It all starts with faith
A message from the Alta. bishops for Catholic Education Sunday
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
"It all starts with faith." This is the simple message that you are invited to focus on when we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday on Nov. 5.
It all starts with faith. Our Catholic schools exist because of our faith. This faith, the enduring love of Jesus Christ, is what we strive to show to our students. We can only do this if we ourselves also live it. It is a faith that we need to start and end each of our days with. It is a faith that must constantly be fueled if it is to be bright enough to be seen by others.
The faith formation of the children in our Catholic schools is dependent on our own faith formation. Each of us - from teachers to administrators, parents to parishioners, community members to bishops - are critical to the faith formation of the children who have been gifted to us from our loving Father. Their faith formation is only possible if we are people of faith.
Catholic education is not faith formation solely for our children in schools. Our own faith formation is essential to the success of our Catholic schools, as well as to the life and vitality of the Church. It is only through the spirit of our faith that we will see vibrant parishes and schools alive with the love of Jesus Christ. Faith formation is for all of us in the community. As bishops, our daily faith formation is integral in our mission to bring Christ to all in the community.
Each of us is called to be active members of the Church. Therefore, we have both the right and responsibility to be active participants in forming and transforming the faith life of our parishes and schools. We must find opportunities to be inspired by faith so that we may inspire others with our faith.
To be people of faith means to be people who pray. Our faith formation must devote time to works of justice, compassion and love. Our faith is strengthened in our participation in the sacraments.
Our children are enriched when they see how we proclaim our faith by praying the Our Father at Mass or receiving Christ through the Eucharist. Our communities are filled with an abundance of programs, workshops and conferences that will inspire our faith and rejuvenate our spirits.
These are a few of the ways we can strengthen our faith and deepen our relationship with Christ, so that we may confidently be mentors of faith to those in our schools, parishes and communities.
This year, let us focus on our own personal faith formation - participate fully in weekly Mass, show compassion and love to all those around us, and take part in opportunities that strengthen our faith, physically, mentally and spiritually. We are members of Christ's Church, who should never forget that all our actions must always "start with faith."
Yours in Christ,
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