In regards to the Faith Formation of your children our parish will be undergoing change as Marilyn Paradise is retiring from her position as Religious Education Coordinator effective the end of August. I thank Marilyn for the dedication and enthusiasm she showed in sharing faith with our children. I would like to announce that Dawn Burdick has been hired as Faith Formation Coordinator for Good Shepherd Catholic Community. Dawn is currently working as Pastoral Associate and Faith Formation Coordinator for our neighboring parishes, All Saints Parish-Lansing, Holy Cross Parish-Dryden/Freeville, and Saint Anthony Parish-Groton. She will continue in that position at the NET Catholic parishes but will begin her additional duties as Shared Service Faith Formation Coordinator for GSCC as well, effective September 1, 2020. Marilyn and I will be meeting with Dawn this week to help facilitate the transition. Next week Dawn will outline plans for Faith Formation for the coming year as we deal with Covid-19.
I would like to remind parents of the responsibility you have of helping your children grow in their faith. In the rite of Baptism parents are reminded that, “you are the first teachers of your children in the ways of the faith, may you be the best of teachers bearing witness to the faith by what you say and do through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.” A task that is made more difficult in these days. It is so important for parents to model for their children what it means to be a disciple of the Lord. It is your responsibility to teach your children about the love of God, to teach them how to pray, and to make sure they attend Sunday Mass. Many of you might have a concern about bring your children to church while the coronavirus is such a threat. While Bishop Matano has lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in the Diocese of Rochester until further notice, you as parents still have the obligation of teaching your children in the ways of the faith. If you have fear in attending Mass at church then view the Mass on the website or on TV at home and participate as a family to the best of your ability. Talk with your children at home about the Sunday readings, Teach them about the seasons of the Liturgical Year when they notice that the priest is wearing different color vestments. Share with them how Jesus through his birth, death, resurrection, ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, has given us eternal life. Above all teach them that God loves them in a very personal way and wants to be their closest friend. Encourage your children to invite Jesus into their hearts and lives. Teach them to ask Jesus to fill them with the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that they become more and more like Jesus themselves. And model what you are teaching by continuously inviting Jesus into your own life and asking for the help and grace of the Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you. If you do so I believe you will, “be the best of teachers bearing witness to the faith by what you say and do through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.”
May we always remember that our children deserve the best that we can give them. May they receive from all of us the gift of faith and the gift of God’s love.
May God’s blessings and peace be with you, Father Bill
Due to the Pandemic, we were not able to celebrate Diocesan Missions Sunday in May. Bishop Matano has given permission to honor the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy working in Brazil and Chile on the weekend of August 22-23. Many people already have supported the Sisters by mail to the parish, online giving during the past months. We are most grateful to you but we would like to give everyone the opportunity to help the missionary works of the sisters through a special collection.
The church is called to proclaim Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died and is risen: through him God bestows “new life” that is divine and eternal. This the “Good News” which changes people and history, and which all people have a right to hear.
We cannot be content when we consider the millions of our brothers and sisters who don’t know Christ and the love of God yet.
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
For over fifty years, the Sisters of St. Joseph have labored in Brazil and the Sisters of Mercy in Chile. On next weekend, August 22-23, we call upon you to help with your prayers and sacrificial gift, so that they may continue to bring Christ into a world where darkness, despair and emptiness prevail.
On August 22/23 a second collection basket will be available at each Mass for your support to the Missionary work of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy. You can also mail your gift directly to the parish office or give online . Please make your check out to Good Shepherd Catholic Community and note in the Memo line Diocesan Mission Collection. Thank you for your generosity.