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September 17, 2021
Give it Away
Dear Friends in Christ,
This Sunday is Catechetical Sunday – a day set aside to recall the importance of catechesis and to pray for our catechists as they begin the school year. And the Gospel for Sunday lends itself quite well to the occasion:
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
This is an extraordinary statement. Our Lord identifies Himself with a child. This passage has great implications for our openness to life and protection of the unborn. To receive a child is to receive Him.
Such reverence for Christ in a child also speaks to the greatest gift we can give a child: faith.
Catechesis is the handing on of Catholicism’s life-giving truths. Like any kind of learning, it involves study, memorization, and testing. We want our children to know the Catholic faith. But this kind of knowledge is different from others. When you study history, you don’t do so in order to know Julius Caesar or Abraham Lincoln. When you read great books, you don’t do so in order to have a relationship with Oliver Twist or Frodo Baggins.
But when you study the Catholic faith, the purpose is to know and to love Jesus Christ. We study our faith so that by knowing Jesus we can love Him better. We cannot know Him unless we know His people, His family, words, deeds, life, and His Church. And we cannot love Him unless we know Him.
How many Catholics have sadly fallen away from the faith because of a lack of understanding. Their fate fulfills our Lord’s words of warning: “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart” (Mt 13:19).
So, please pray for our catechists – that they faithfully and lovingly convey the Catholic doctrine that gives life. May the Lord bless their words to impart grace to those who hear.
Of course, catechesis is done primarily in the home, not in the classroom. So as the catechetical year begins, it’s an occasion for you parents to make your home a place in which our Lord is present, known, and loved. Please make sure you are praying with your children and speaking to them about Christ and His saints. You make many sacrifices for them to gain knowledge of and for this world. All the more should you strive to give them knowledge of and for the next world.
Join us for our Parish Picnic! There will be games, food, and live entertainment for the whole family: October 2 from Noon to 3pm. Also, at 8am that morning is the annual Nun Fun Run to benefit the IHM Sister’s Retirement Community at Camilla Hall. And, finally, at 9:30am we will have the blessing of pets.
40 Days for Life
The 40 Days for Life prayer campaign to end abortion begins Wednesday, September 22. Please consider committing to a time of prayer – for an end to abortion, for conversion of hearts, for the healing of wounds, and for help for mothers tempted to abortion. For more information, visit here.
The 2021 Diocese of Arlington Pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, October 30! This year the pilgrimage is in honor of Saint Joseph. Click here for more information.
Children’s Guided Adoration
Yes, children are capable of adoration! In fact, this practice goes hand in hand with catechesis! Make plans to attend our next “Guided Children’s Adoration” with Father John Paul on Saturday, September 25 at 10am. All families are invited.
Forming a Divine Mercy Cenacle
This fall, Saint James will be forming a Divine Mercy Cenacle. A cenacle is a group devoted to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick and dying and to growing in holiness through the study of scripture, the Catechism, and the Diary of Saint Faustina. The group will also take on a particular work of mercy for the parish. The cenacle would meet twice a month. Click here to learn more. If interested, email Yvonne McCool at YMMcCool@outlook.com and come to an informational meeting on Thursday, September 30 at 10am in the Knecht conference room.
One of the best apostolates I became involved in as a young priest was Teams of Our Lady. Teams is an international movement in the Church made up of groups (teams) of five to seven couples with a spiritual advisor. The couples meet monthly to share their news and a simple meal, pray, and study a topic with a family/marriage/ spiritual focus. The individual Teams become a unit that is supportive and encouraging, and where ideas are exchanged and discussed. There will be an informational meeting on September 27 at 730pm in Knecht Conference Room. If interested, contact Eric and Logan Horne at 540-435-8651 or email them.
If practice makes perfect, and no one is perfect, then why practice? If the pen is mightier than the sword, then why do actions speak louder than words? If two wrongs don't make a right, then why does a double negative make a positive? It's good to be awesome, so why is it bad to be awful? If horrible and horrific are the same things, then why are terrible and terrific opposites?
Through the intercession of our Lady, Saint Joseph, and Saint James, may the Lord bless and keep you.
Sincerely in Christ,
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