During the past week I attended a meeting which took place between the catechists of our parish and the parents of the children who are attending the various levels of our catechetical classes. It was a very helpful meeting in lots of ways but I have to say that the attendance of the parents was really quite poor. I think that perhaps only about 20% of parents involved actually turned up for the meeting.

I recognise of course that we all lead busy lives and that we have to deal with many pressures at work and at home. But still, the poor attendance at the meeting was an indication to me that there is a lot of work to be done in the parish if we are to recognise the major significance of helping our young people and children to grow into a faith that is both meaningful and relevant to their lives.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in our catechetical ministry here at Holy Redeemer. We are truly blessed in having so many dedicated people who are prepared to give up their valuable time each week, not only to teach catechism lessons, but also to prepare and pray that their work might bear fruit in the lives of the children and young people under their care.

However, the main place where the young will learn what it means to believe and to live a life centred on the love of God will always be the family home. It is here that our young people should grow to understand that being a Catholic is not simply attending Mass on Sunday, but rather something that shapes our whole understanding of life, in all its joy and sorrows. The real task of faith is to help us see that God is to be found in all things, and the people best placed to help our children and young people discover this are of course the parents themselves.

How many families, for example, manage to find some time in the day to spend a few minutes in family prayer of thanksgiving and petition? How many families attempt to find the presence of God in all the ordinary everyday events of life? How many parents actively discuss their faith with their children and in this way show how central our relationship with God is in our daily life? How many parents show their children that attending Mass is not only a duty but a privilege, and that calls for us come to Church on time and with an attitude of the greatest respect and gratitude after us

Since my arrival here I have been impressed with so many good things that are taking place in our parish. This however should not lead us to a sense of complacency. There is much to be done if we are to truly reflect the presence of God each day in our lives and in our homes.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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