Welcome to my first blog post!!! During my first year here at St. Mary’s I made a point to visit each of the classrooms asking the students what questions they had concerning our faith. The questions ranged over all sorts of topics. This got me thinking…. Our Faith is full of mysteries and questions and the culture that we live tends to paint the Catholic Church to be the villain. I figured what better way to keep educating and evangelizing than to write up the answers to the most common questions or topics that come up in the classrooms. This blog will allow for you to be aware of different topics addressed and have some easy to understand answers to common questions Catholics are asked by non-Catholics or fallen away Catholics.
To start off this series, I want to address an issue, maybe even a fear, of some adults… being a Faith Formation teacher! It is this time of year that you are bombarded with emails requesting you to pray and think about becoming a Faith Formation teacher. You may be surprised at the minimal response I get from parents. Trust me, I understand that our lives are busy and that maybe you are physically unable to help and that’s ok. The parents I am addressing this post to are those who may use the business of life as an excuse to hide the fear that they are afraid or do not think themselves worthy of being a teacher of the Faith. Thoughts like “It has been a long time since I learned about the faith”, “I am not qualified”, “What type of example would I be for the students”, or “What if they ask me a question I don’t know the answer too?” I could go on and on.
I understand these are common fears and concerns. Here is the truth: the students do not need the perfect teacher, they do not need someone who knows all the answers and they do not even need someone with years of experience. What they need is someone who is willing to learn, willing to grow, willing to share and willing to commit. They need: Someone who will show them by their sacrifice of time that God and the Faith are important. Someone who will teach that God does not call us to be perfect or qualified only faithful to His will and word. Someone who understands that we are all sinners but it is how we overcome the sin with God’s love and mercy that is the true basis of forgiveness.
The students need you the parents to exemplify why you send them each week to the Parish Center. We have been blessed in the past to have teenagers step up and we still have them for the younger grades (1 to 3) as the age difference allows for a better classroom environment. However the presence of a parent in the classroom giving their time to share the Faith with the students is something that a teenager cannot do. The example of a lifelong faith, of putting the importance of the Faith Formation class over other obligations that families have, of seeing you around the town at sporting events, school functions or even local ice cream places allows them to see a real person who is overcoming the stresses and pressures of the world to be a light of Christ and to educate them in the life of a disciple.
I ask you to please pray, ask God if He is calling you to be this role model, witness and teacher. It does not even have to be an every week commitment, ask a friend or two to split a class with you to lessen the number of hours. Just please do not be afraid, I am here to help with resources, lesson plans, guidance and even come in to tackle the tough questions. If God is calling, make sure you answer!