11th Sunday of the Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

We need your help to spread the Gospel and teach others to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus in his holy Catholic Church.

Each year we offer a course that for some time has been called the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” or RCIA. That ungainly name is the official title of the liturgical and catechetical process by which adults join the Catholic Church, but to most people that awkward title is just jargon and so we’re changing gears this year. What was formerly known as RCIA will henceforth be called “An Introduction to Catholicism,” and just as before, the course will begin on the Wednesday after Labor Day and run through the following Spring.

An Introduction to Catholicism is intended for people in several different situations: 1) those who have never been baptized and are interested in learning about Christianity, 2) those who have been baptized outside the Catholic Church and want to consider becoming Catholics or at least to learn more about Catholicism, 3) Catholics who were baptized as children but who never received the sacrament of Confirmation, 4) Catholics who have been away from the regular practice of the faith for some time and are returning, 5) Catholics who just want a general refresher course on the fundamentals of our faith, and 6) well catechized and practicing Catholics who want to help share the faith with others.

And that’s where we need your help. Those who are most in need of “An Introduction to Catholicism” almost certainly do not read our bulletin or come to Mass, and so there is no direct way for the clergy or our parish staff to reach them. But you can reach them. Those who would profit from this course are among your friends, relatives, colleagues, and neighbors. You already know who they are, and now they are waiting for an invitation from you to come and see. Please pray, beginning now, for the strength and courage to be an instrument of grace for those who need an invitation from you to draw nearer to the Lord Jesus and follow him more closely in the Way of the Cross. Pray, too, for the persons you intend to invite to come and see, that the Lord of mercies may open their hearts and minds to receive his holy Word. And then, when you’re ready, extend your invitation with simplicity, gentleness and love.

Friends, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is the basic work of evangelization, and from the Ascension of the Lord Jesus, this is how the Gospel has been proclaimed in fulfillment of the Great Commission. This is how the Church grows and gathers an ever greater flock into the sheepfold of Christ. Be witnesses to the Lord Jesus, and invite someone to join us in September for An Introduction to Catholicism.

Father Newman