By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic
Registration has already begun in many of our parishes for religious education programs that begin in the fall. I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of registering your children early because space is limited in some parishes. I encourage you to call your parish to begin the process.
Participation in religious education programs is essential for sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. Children may not receive these important sacraments without proper preparation. Because of the importance, sacramental preparation must be done through the parish.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis continually emphasizes that knowing Jesus and following in his footsteps is the essence of our Catholic Faith. Saint Jerome, the great scripture scholar, believed that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. We are disciples, followers of Jesus, and we must know Him to be His disciples. It is also important to keep in mind that religious education is more than sacramental preparation; it is part of a lifelong faith formation in discipleship.
We would look pretty silly if we tried to wear the same pants or dresses we wore at our First Communion or even Confirmation, but some of us are wearing our First Communion or Confirmation faith and it no longer fits us. We must continue to expand our faith.
Remember, what we learn as children at home and in religious education is only the beginning. Our life is a journey to God. Faith formation ends only when we reach the goal of our journey.