Next Sunday is Earth Day. We will be signing the St. Francis Pledge at all the Masses. This is a pledge to care for God’s creation. In theology, we talk of man as co-creators or in other words, we are called to continue God’s creation. Human life is one of the best examples of man continuing God’s creation. All of God’s creation is a gift to us and we need to use and care for it wisely. In the tradition of St. Francis, it is through all of God’s creation, we discover the God who has created us.
In getting the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the School and parish offices from the City, once again I was reminded of Safety issues on our property as well as parking and traffic issues. Sunday mornings are very challenging on our property. We have too much going on when we have Masses and our School of Religion (CCD) going on at the same time. There are ongoing safety issues of dropping off children, traffic that is backing up on Prospect, double parking in the parking lot and parking in fire lanes. By trying to do too much, hazards are being created. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. There has to be a better way and there will be a better way.
I’ve decided to suspend our Sunday Religious Education Program, at the end of this year. I also want to use this as an opportunity to look at our Religious Education Program. I see us preparing 100 children or more each year for First Communion but I don’t see 100 children and families in Church. When I was hearing confessions of our young people for Confirmation, I heard many second confessions. This only convinced me all the more, that we need to look at the effectiveness of what we are doing in preparing our young people and their families for the sacraments. At the moment we are looking at possibilities of structuring a new program. It will be more family-based. We will not be doing registration at this moment. But I do know that there will be a Religious Education program in the Fall, it will not be on Sunday and it will be structured differently than this year and past years. We will have First Communion next year.