Monday, August 17, 2015

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, August 16

Before you know it school will be starting again. St. Austin School starts this Monday, August 17! AISD commences classes a week later on the 24th. And UT begins the new semester on Wednesday, August 26. So over the next couple of weeks all of the students and families will be coming back from late vacation getaways.

This means of course that we will soon be resuming Religious Education and Confirmation Preparation here at St. Austin. However, we have had some staff changes, some anticipated and others not, that somewhat caught me by surprise.With both the Director of Adult Faith Formation, Michael Flahive, retiring and also the Director of Religious Education, Marti Salas, moving to a new position over at the University Catholic Center, it has taken a lot longer to fill these positions than I had anticipated. I apologize for dropping the ball on this.

Mr. Paul Thomas, who has been the Director of Catechesis and Evangelization at the Diocese of Beaumont, TX, has accepted the job of Director of Discipleship Formation here at St. Austin and is in the process of moving to Austin. He will begin in this position very shortly. Together with him, I will hire an associate to work with him on the Religious Education program.

Practically this means that we will most probably begin the Religious Education program a week or two late. But it will happen. Confirmation preparation will likewise begin soon. We have Bishop Danny Garcia coming to celebrate Confirmation on Wed., Dec. 2 and will have the candidates for Confirmation prepared by then.  

Fortunately I am happy to report that the group working on the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9 a.m. Mass is prepared and eager to commence that program.

I am convinced that genuine spiritual formation and religious education of children is done more by the example we give as a Christian community than any teaching done in a classroom situation. The classes are important for acquiring needed information about our faith, but the example we give as adult Catholics is far more important in forming our children and young people in the faith. And that is the work not only of Religious Ed teachers and catechists and parents, but of every one of us in the parish community. Keep up the good work.

God bless,

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