St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Education in Our Faith is Our Strength

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So many times, we take our faith for granted. We dip our fingers in the holy water font subconsciously as we bless ourselves. We say the Our Father during Mass and most of us probably do not even think about what we are saying. The responses of the Mass can be like the teacher in Charlie Brown, “Wa, wa wa wa wa waa,” and before we know it, we are at another part of the Mass and have no idea how we got there. It gets really scary when this happens when we drive! Not that it has ever happened to me. Auto pilot kicks in and away we go.

It always helps to educate ourselves in why we do what we do. I remember going through a phase in my life when I started asking questions about the faith, but no one would answer me. So I decided to find the answers from the church myself. I was so amazed by the common sense, wisdom, simplicity of reasoning, and how it resonated with my experience. I found it to be true. Then I became angry. Why didn’t anybody tell me? It is like the truth of Catholicism was this big secret that seemed to be hidden from me. I was saying to myself, if I only knew, I would not have had to suffer so much!
But we do not have to suffer. We have materials and people available who can help us. One main focus this week is the RE (Religious Education) program we have at the Holy Family Community Center. Throughout the school year, our children meet there every Sunday morning from 9:05 to 10:15am and learn about the faith from our catechists. Catechists are parishioners who dedicate their time for our children so that they do not have to go through all the suffering I did from not knowing or understanding the ways of God. They have great wisdom and are willing to help your children grow closer to Jesus and His graces. Every week they plan the class, and once a month they meet to help each other get better at what they do. Mind you, these are volunteers that have been doing this year after year. What dedication! Thank God we have good people who are willing to help us see the next generation of Catholics growing in holiness.
Yet, these catechists cannot do it alone. These precious children need to see the faith lived in their lives. That is where the parents and come in. And how hard and exhausting it is to be a parent today. That is why we are having family days this year to help empower the parents. We hope to make things fun while making the connections between faith and life. God Bless you parents! I am excited to put a little extra pizzazz in the RE program this year and so are our Catechists. They have done such a great job and look forward to helping the children even more this year. We thank them and congratulate them on their great work.
There has also been great work in the office from Ann Peters and all the volunteers who work behind the scenes. Without their help, none of this would be possible. I hope you can take the time to thank all those who help keep our RE program running. May God bless them all, especially on this Catechists Sunday as they help us strengthen our faith!

Author: stjosephstmary

We are two Catholic Churches close to downtown Freeport, IL. Our communities are over 150 years old and have been dedicated to our lord Jesus Christ since our inception. We believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was concieved by the Holy Spirit, born of ythe Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

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