On Saturday, September 18th, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass for Home School families at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Wake Forest. Father Philip M. Tigh, Pastor of St. Catherine; Father Walter Ospina-Briceno, Parochial Vicar of St. Catherine; and Father John J. Forbes, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes and Dean of the Raleigh Deanery, concelebrated the Mass.
The Association for Roman Catholic Homeschoolers, ARCH, hosts the Mass each year for all Home School families in the Diocese. This is the fifth year Bishop Burbidge has offered the Mass. “It means so much that the Bishop is supportive of our mission,” said Angie Sipe, ARCH member and organizer of the Mass. “Several recent seminarians have come from home school families; I think the Bishop’s presence fosters vocations within our community.”
ARCH’s mission is to promote homeschooling among Catholic families and to support those families who are engaged in providing their children’s education at home. Its activities and functions are founded on fidelity to the teachings of the Church.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge urged young people to “turn to God’s Word, especially when you need guidance. His Word is Truth. His word will always keep you on the right path.”
Families travelled from as far away as Ahoskie, Mebane and Benson to attend the Mass. “We traveled to Wake Forest for the opportunity to share Mass with the Bishop and to be a part of the Home School community,” said Jeanine Kosmicki and Carrie Hairston, from St. Charles Borromeo in Ahoski.
The Bishop offered special encouragement to parents. “Homeschooling demands incredible sacrifices,” the Bishop said. “Like all teachers, you do not always see visible and immediate results of your efforts. That is why the last word of today’s Gospel is so important for you to hear: ‘Persevere!’ If you plant the seeds, Our Lord promises that they will bear fruit in ways you can never imagine. Today, renew your promise to entrust all of your efforts and endeavors to His providential care.”
A reception for the families followed the Mass.
Above and below: Members of the Association for Roman Catholic Homeschoolers attending annual Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Wake Forest.
Below: Home School families attending reception following the annual Mass.