Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the past six months, there have been plenty of stories of people doing heroic work and volunteering in
situations that were difficult and in some cases, life-threatening. The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on
all of us, but it has also been an opportunity for many to help those in need. I’m so encouraged and heartened
by the way so many of us have risen to the unique challenges of our present day.

Two areas that have recently been on mind have been our school and religious education program. The school
has been back in session since September 2nd and Religious Ed will be begin this week. I marvel at many things
that have gone into making it all work. But what really stands out is the faculty of the school and the volunteer
catechists of Religious Ed. These individuals have given so generously of themselves in order to help our young
people know who God is and how to have faith in Him. While they go through their lesson plans and chapters in
the textbook in order to impart knowledge, their strongest teaching comes from the way they demonstrate the
faith by being present and helping our children learn despite the challenges that this year brings.

Pope Paul VI once wrote an encyclical about how best to share the faith in a more modern context. To
paraphrase him, modern individuals do not care so much about how much intellectual knowledge a person has
about matters of faith; they don’t listen to teachers just because they teach. What is needed in modern times is
an authentic witness, a faith truly lived, in order to reach the hearts and minds of others. If religious educators
are paid any attention, it’s because they are witnesses first and foremost.

To see the commitment, the love, and the genuine desire to help their students learn that these teachers and
catechists have is truly awe-inspiring. Adapting to face-masks, desk-shields, temperature checks, online
platforms, while simultaneously having to let go of certain tried and true methods of teaching because of social
distancing and other concerns has been a monumental task. But difficult though it has been and will continue to
be, these outstanding men and women do it out of love for God, for the community, and especially for their
students.

Please join me in continuing to pray for all the educators present in our parish. If you are an educator, please
know of my deep gratitude for your continued efforts to teach, especially in this year. Continue to be strong
witnesses of faith and of God’s love, so that our young people can keep being inspired by the very good work
that you do.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan