Monday Message, October 3, 2022

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Helen Burland will join us at our next Parish Leader Check In to discuss the many calls we’ve received about ministry with our growing special needs population. Be sure to join us on Tuesday.

Next week, we start our three sessions we are calling, Lunch and LEAD. Join us for any one of the three sessions to learn about how LEAD can change the way you track your learners, communicate with your team, and even build a community among your volunteers. See this page for more information. Please be sure to RSVP.

If your parish has no RCIA team or if you generally only get a few takers and want to have those folks join a larger group, please see this page or contact Deacon John DiTaranto for more information about the RCIA Collaborative.


I try to use the space to inspire. Today, my aim is to challenge.

The Chancery, the Bishop’s office, and the Institute have received many calls from parents upset that their children will miss out on faith formation this year because their parish has closed registration. Parents readily admit they have missed the deadline set by the parish.

I have thought about how to respond. You run your own shows locally and my job is to support you and help make your job more manageable. I firmly believe in subsidiarity. I believe in local control. But I also believe in flexibility, hospitality, and generosity. My job may to be support, but it’s also my job to challenge when your vision runs afoul of the bishop’s.

I believe that Jesus would never have imposed deadlines, but saying that somehow seems passive aggressive.

So how about this: please stop imposing deadlines because it makes your life easier. Do not close registration. Charge an early fee and a late fee if you want, but do not close registration. It sends an awful message to the faithful. Plus, it’s just rude. The parents showing up want their children formed in the faith. Are we really going to tell them, “no” because the paperwork comes in later than it should?

Please welcome everyone to your parish and to faith formation. Welcome the children into a chance to learn and to encounter the person of Jesus Christ as Bishop Caggiano discussed last month. Forgive parents who really do try to do their best. Remember that these folks are showing up – albeit late and forgetful – they are showing up.

We owe it to the children to form them, teach them, and provide sacramental formation.

Even if the parents drive us nuts.