September 2, 2016
Catholic Schools have opened for another year and, soon enough, our Parish Religious Education programs will begin again.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you parents for entrusting your children to the care of our Church to assist you in the teaching of our Catholic Faith to them. To all of our dedicated teachers of Religion in our schools and parishes, I say thank you for not only your good work but for the examples of your lives which teach the Faith as much as any words you may use.
We all know that our children need to learn and retain the objectively true and accurate knowledge which they receive by taking classes in those necessary natural and secular courses so that they will be able to be productive and competent adults. What is of even greater importance to you parents and your children is that both you and they know our Catholic Faith. What do I mean by “knowing” our Catholic Faith?
As Catholics, we profess our Faith in the Creed. This is what we believe; however, there is much more to our belief. We must know what we believe; why we believe it and then why and how we practice what we believe.
All of this begins with you, the parents of our children. It is your solemn and binding right and duty to educate your children in our Faith. This is done much more by the example you give them from day to day than anything else. If you do not go to Mass each Sunday and Holy Day, if you do not pray every day at home, if you do not practice any good works and penances for your children to see and, in time to join in with you, they will not know our Faith. Our Catholic schools and Parish Religious Education programs can help you do this for yourselves and your children. Our schools and parish programs can never take your place.
The very same holds true for our parents who have made that great commitment to home school their children. Just as for the children in our Catholic schools or Parish Religious Education programs, so for home schooled children when it comes to the knowing and practicing of our Faith, the obligation is always that of the parents first.
Our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bismarck are recognized for the excellence of the education which our dedicated teachers and administrators provide our children. Because of the presence and dedication and zeal of our parish priests and all the more that of the priests assigned to teach in our Catholic School systems, the religious education of our children is excellent. I have witnessed the real impact our priests have had and continue to have on your young people and I am edified and I would hope you are as well. I intend to keep our commitment to this essential apostolate of our Holy Church, to teach the Faith in season and out of season in all circumstances and in every place, and always with love for God and His holy people.
Please continue to pray for and support all of our efforts to teach the truths of our Faith and to help all to come to know, love and serve our good God better each day.