On September 16, 2012, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, celebrated Catechetical Sunday with Mass at the Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston, NC. Catechetical Sunday is a day the Church in the United States recognizes the role each person plays in passing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. The theme for this year is: Catechists and Teachers as Agents of the New Evangelization.
“When we say New Evangelization, we are not referring to new teachings of the Church. We are speaking of the teachings of Jesus and His Gospel, which are imprinted on our hearts and handed down to us through the teachings of His Church, said Bishop Burbidge in his homily. “What becomes new is the way in which we bring these teachings to others.”
Bishop Burbidge noted the responsibility of the faithful, by virtue of Baptism: “The New Evangelization demands priests, religious, parents, teachers, catechists and agents demonstrate a renewed zeal, enthusiasm and creativity for teaching the faith and use all appropriate technology, tools and resources to proclaim God’s Word and our faith to others.”
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 recipient is Sr. Kieran Williams, I.H.M, Pastoral Administrator of Holy Trinity Parish in Williamston.
This Diocesan Award is presented annually by the Department for Catholic Formation and Evangelization to a Master Catechist who emulates the love of Jesus Christ and richly shares the Catholic Faith with both children and adults.
“In order to be an effective agent of the new evangelization, one must offer credible witness," Bishop Burbidge said. “Indeed, Sister Kieran is such a person! Her love for Jesus, His Mother, His Church and people is evident in her ministry and in all she does.”
“To receive this award takes me back to when I met Mary Dowling,” said Sr. Keiran. “When she came to visit us, she was a truly pastoral presence to help us teach and pass on our faith.” Sr. Kieran continued, “We have a full faith community that says yes to the mission and we say, “Yes Lord, Here I am.’”
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Read Bishop Burbidge’s Catechetical Sunday letter (PDF)
Read Bishop Burbidge’s homily
Watch Bishop Burbidge’s homily:
Above: Sr. Kieran Williams, IHM, surrounded by friends and parishioners, at Catechetical Sunday Mass in which she received the Diocesan Master Catechist of the Year Award. Click photo to view larger.
Above:Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Sr. Kieran Williams with the Glenmary Brothers of the Catholic Community of Bertie County at the conclusion of Mass that paid tribute to her as Diocesan Master Catechist of the Year. Click photo to view larger.