The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge commemorated Catechetical Sunday with the celebration of Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Rocky Mount on September 18, 2011. The occasion reminds each Catholic of their responsibility to pass on the faith and to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. In parishes throughout the United States, men and women who are designated by their parish communities to serve as catechists are commissioned for their ministry.
“Today, as the Church in the United States celebrates Catechetical Sunday,’” Bishop Burbidge said in his homily, “we recognize and give thanks to all those who offer their service in instructing, supporting and encouraging our youth and all those immersed in various stages of faith formation as they seek the Lord and a deeper understanding of His Word and the teachings of His Church.”
Bishop Burbidge noted the important responsibility parents accept with the Baptism of their children. “I convey deep appreciation to all parents for being steadfast in your responsibility of being for your children the first teachers in the ways of faith!” Bishop Burbidge said.
He expressed gratitude to Catholic educators, faith formation directors and catechists for giving of their time and talent to support parents in religious instruction. “They heed the theme of this year’s Catechetical Sunday, 'Do this in memory of Me,' and lead those they serve to a deeper appreciation of the Lord’s presence, most especially in the Eucharist and in all the Sacraments as well as in His Word, in prayer, in the teachings and traditions of our Church, in service and in the community of the People of God.”
Each year, Bishop Burbidge celebrates Catechetical Sunday at the home parish of the recipient of the Mary Dowling Master Catechist of the Year Award. This year’s honoree is Mrs. Dianne Young, who has served in lay ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church for 45 years. Citing several comments offered on behalf of Diane on the nominating form, Bishop Burbidge said, “Thank you, Dianne, for your beautiful ministry, dedicated service and the example of your life. Sincere congratulations to you!”
A story on Dianne’s ministry is available on the Diocesan website. An interview with her is also available on this week’s edition of Catholic Weekly (MP3 | WMA) .
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Above: Bishop Burbidge celebrating Catechetical Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount.
Above: Catechists at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church being commissioned by Bishop Burbidge during Mass.
Above: Bishop Burbidge extending blessing on Mrs. Dianne Young, recipient of the 2011 Mary Dowling Master Catechist of the Year Award.