FROM OUR EDITORS—October 21, 2018 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ October 9, 2018

334

Every year in late October, Catholics throughout the world unite to celebrate World Mission Sunday. This year’s date is October 21. The theme is “Through Youth to the World: Voices for Mission.” We are invited to recommit ourselves to our common vocation through Baptism to be missionaries—through prayer, participation in the Eucharist, and by generously supporting the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Sunday’s Gospel ties in well with the message of World Mission Sunday. Jesus tells the Apostles that to be great, they must be serve others. To share in and promote Christ’s mission, we must be servants of his message and of the Kingdom. We are all called to share God’s message of love and hope with others. Through service to young people, parents, catechists, and teachers help shape both our Church’s present and future.

In his message for World Mission Day 2018, Pope Francis writes: “[T]ransmission of the faith, the heart of the Church’s mission, comes about by the infectiousness of love, where joy and enthusiasm become the expression of a newfound meaning and fulfilment in life. The spread of the faith ‘by attraction’ calls for hearts that are open and expanded by love.”

We pray that the children in your care catch your infectious love, joy, and enthusiasm for the faith and grow in living and sharing it with others. As the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment continues, we pray for all young people throughout our Church and world and the efforts of their parents, catechists, and teachers to form them in a living and vital faith.

Find resources for World Mission Sunday here.

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

 

Image credit: Pontifical Mission Societies Diocesan Mission Office, Scranton, PA

FROM OUR EDITORS—October 14, 2018 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ October 8, 2018

333

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí. 

Pope Francis is convening the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops with focus on the theme “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” It is meeting in Rome, October 3–28, 2018.

In a letter to young people, Pope Francis wrote these encouraging words: “A better world can…be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”

Follow what’s happening at the Synod in your diocesan paper or Catholic news websites, such as La Croix International. Additional information on the Synod can be found on the official website.

Join us in praying for the participants of the Synod, our Church, and all the young people throughout the world who are seeking the face of Christ—whether they know it or not!

Image credit: VaticanMedia-Foto/CPP/CIRIC

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—14 de octubre de 2018 – 28.º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ October 7, 2018

333

El Papa Francisco convocó la XV Asamblea General Ordinaria del Sínodo de los Obispos sobre el tema “Los jóvenes, la fe y el discernimiento vocacional”, que se celebrará en Roma, del 3 al 28 de octubre de 2018.

En una carta dirigida a los jóvenes, el Papa Francisco escribió estas palabras llenas de ánimo: “Un mundo mejor se construye también gracias a ustedes, que siempre desean cambiar y ser generosos. No tengan miedo de escuchar al Espíritu que les sugiere opciones audaces, no pierdan tiempo cuando la conciencia les pida arriesgar para seguir al Maestro. También la Iglesia desea ponerse a la escucha de la voz, de la sensibilidad, de la fe de cada uno; así como también de las dudas y las críticas. Hagan sentir a todos el grito de ustedes, déjenlo resonar en las comunidades y háganlo llegar a los pastores”.

Usted puede seguir lo que sucede en el Sínodo en el periódico de su diócesis o en las páginas web de noticias católicas, como aciprensa.com. También puede encontrar información adicional sobre el Sínodo en la página web oficial.

Únase a nosotros en oración por los participantes del Sínodo, por nuestra Iglesia y por todos los jóvenes alrededor del mundo que buscan el rostro de Cristo, ¡aún sin conocerlo!

 

Imagen: VaticanMedia-Foto/CPP/CIRIC

FROM OUR EDITORS—October 7, 2018 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 25, 2018

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

327

The Gospel Weeklies program is now underway in most parishes and schools! We pray that everyone is off to a great start!

We want to make sure that new and seasoned catechists and teachers know where to find helpful resources through our weekly GROW newsletter and blog postings. Please note:

  • Archives • Our weekly e-newsletter and GROW blog posts allow us to archive materials for you to search and access in later weeks. Every time you click READ MORE on the GROW e-newsletter, you enter our blog. You can also access it from our PGW home page by clicking GROW Blog on the top menu bar.
  • Lesson Updates • The link to Lesson Updates appears in the left menu of each blog posting. Here you will find information specific to lessons and teaching guides—when new material has been added to the website, corrections or additions to printed material (e.g., the editors forgot to put the answers to a quiz in a Teaching Guide), or even a video showing how to assemble a booklet or craft project. We will list these items by week and lesson level. If you see something we’ve overlooked, email editor@pflaum.com and we will add it here.
  • Planning Ahead • To assist you in planning ahead for lessons, we provide access to two weeks of Gospel reflections and resources with every e-newsletter mailing. Whether you need to plan ahead due to your program schedule, personal style, or you’re required submit in lesson plans for approval, you’ll now be able to these resources well ahead of time.

Image credit: US Army photo by Victoria Choi/CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.com

FROM OUR EDITORS—September 30, 2018 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 23, 2018

320

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” –Mark 9:42

Jesus didn’t mince words. He was a straight shooter, especially when it came to people being hypocritical or leading others astray. His words cause me to consider the example I set for others, especially the “little ones.” Do I watch my language? Am I aware of the little ears and little eyes who might hear or see me speak or do something unkind or sinful? Do I keep adult conversation away from children? Do the shows I watch, the books I read, and the company I keep all line up with the teachings of Jesus that I’m sharing with the children in my care?

The biggest question of all is: Am I who I say I am? We tell children that “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s true for us adults too.

Image credit: Catholic Diocese of Saginaw/CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr.com

FROM OUR EDITORS—September 23, 2018 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 17, 2018

315

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

Welcome to the official start of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies program year! Most Catholic schools and some parish programs started weeks ago. We hope you found our Early Start Lessons helpful! Other parish programs won’t begin for a few weeks yet. The Gospel Weeklies have traditionally started our 32-week program on the Sunday following Catechetical Sunday.

We join you in the excitement of a new year, new students, and updated resources. We’re working diligently to update, enhance, and strengthen our student lessons and Teaching Guides. We have also added bilingual lessons for Seeds, Promise, and Good News.

Amid the disillusionment, anger, and hurt generated by recent news of the abuse of children and young adults and the coverup of abuse by trusted Church leadership, we encourage you to focus your hope and faith in God’s power to redeem and restore. Find a collection of catechist resources for coping with the Church sex abuse scandals here.

Our team prays for you and the young people in your care every day. We hope and pray that our shared ministry—our efforts in producing the resources and your efforts in using them to share the Good News—bears great fruit in the lives of the young people, their families, your parish and community, the Church, and the world.

 

Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC

FROM OUR EDITORS—September 16, 2018 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 9, 2018

311

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí

I love this statement by Pope Paul VI: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (On Evangelization in the Modern World, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41).

The theme of Catechetical Sunday (9/16)—Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ—is a perfect focus as parish catechists and Catholic school teachers are commissioned as witnesses for Christ and dedicate themselves to the ministry of enlisting more witnesses.

Catechetical Sunday provides an opportunity to reflect on the important role a catechist serves to hand on the faith and be a witness to the Gospel. It’s also an opportunity for all the baptized to rededicate ourselves to this mission as a community of faith.

We pray that Jesus Christ, our Master Catechist, will inspire and bless your efforts to share his Good News with the young people in your home and classroom. May these young people become committed witnesses for Christ.

Be sure to go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website for articles, a Commissioning Service, a Prayer for Catechists (English, Spanish), a Prayer for Family Commitment (English, Spanish), and certificates.

Image credit: Copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Image: The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John, Saint Jerome, and Saint Mary Magdalene [middle panel], Pietro Perugino, National Gallery of Art.

FROM OUR EDITORS—September 9, 2018 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 5, 2018

305

At the recent World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Pope Francis called on families to “become a source of encouragement for others.” Bayard, Inc. wants to support families by developing and launching a new subscription-based online resource for parents and families. Two surveys (Pastoral Leaders, Parents) will help us collect valuable input from pastoral leaders and families. Please share these survey links with parents and pastoral leaders.

To ensure that the resource we develop will be of benefit to families and parishes, we need to identify the issues that are important for parents and families today, as well as the types of resources that support your parish or school’s ministry to, and with, parents and families. We want to identify what’s missing in available resources and what pastoral services would help make your ministry easier and more effective.

The “family” that we see in our parishes today is incredibly diverse. Families range from one or two children or more. Families are multicultural and multiracial. The families in our parishes and schools include nuclear, blended, extended, and single-parent families. Effective pastoral outreach is conscious of and responds to all the various family realities. We want every family to both be encouraged and become a source of encouragement to others.

Please help us by completing the appropriate survey and sharing these survey links with others:

Thanks!

 

Image credit: Alessia GIULIANI/CPP/CIRIC

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—16 de septiembre de 2018 – 24.º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ September 4, 2018

310

Siempre me ha gustado esta frase del Papa Pablo VI: “el hombre contemporáneo escucha más a gusto a los testigos que a los maestros o si escucha a los maestros es porque son testigos” (Acerca de la evangelización en el mundo contemporáneo, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41).

El tema del domingo catequético (16/9): Confirmando testigos para Jesucristo, es un enfoque perfecto, ya que los catequistas parroquiales y los maestros de las escuelas católicas reciben el encargo de ser testigos para Cristo y de dedicarse al ministerio de atraer y confirmar más testigos.

El domingo catequético nos ofrece la oportunidad de reflexionar sobre el papel tan importante que tiene un catequista: transmitir la fe y ser testigo del Evangelio. También es una oportunidad para que todos los bautizados volvamos a consagrarnos a esta misión como parte de una comunidad de fe.

Pedimos a Jesucristo, nuestro Maestro catequista, que inspire y bendiga tus actividades para que puedas compartir su Buena Nueva con los niños y jóvenes en tu hogar y tu salón de clases. Que estos jóvenes se conviertan en testigos comprometidos con Cristo.

Visita la página Web de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés) para obtener artículos, un servicio de comisión, una oración por los catequistas (inglés, español), una oración por el compromiso de la familia (inglés, español) y certificados.

 

Imagen: Copyright © 2018, Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Washington, DC. Todos los derechos reservados. Imagen: La Crucifixión con la Virgen, San Juan, San Jerónimo y Santa María Magdalena [panel central], Pietro Perugino, Galería Nacional de Arte.

FROM OUR EDITORS—September 2, 2018 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ August 27, 2018

303

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is challenged by Pharisees who are more concerned about the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. Much like the Pharisees, we can sometimes be quick to judge others. We believe in the value of the faith formation classes we offer and might harshly judge parents (and their children) who want to register past the deadline, haven’t sent their children to class consistently, or don’t even show up for Sunday Mass. They’re not living by our rules!

While we should be glad they’re making the effort—we might judge it insufficient, but it’s better than no effort at all—our judgment of them might come through in our tone of voice on the phone, sigh of frustration, or even unconsciously in our treatment of the children involved.

Jesus met people where they are. We need to do the same. Most people are doing the best they can in challenging circumstances. No one’s life is free of stress, and everyday life seems to be moving at a frantic pace for many people. Families today are pulled in many directions.

We need to sincerely welcome parents and children, whatever their circumstances. It’s only when they see that we really care about them that they will be open to seeking and receiving the “something more” that we and our Church so fervently desire for them.

We pray that you will tap into the heart of Jesus and sincerely welcome all the parents and children God is calling you to minister to.

 

Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC

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