1 Nov 2019 | Posted by: chadmin
This week I had the opportunity to teach in our grade school. Part of the Diocesan curriculum is to teach on adolescent changes, relationship challenges, chastity and the dignity of the human person. Our principal, Jack Dippold, and I teach the 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys as separate classes. Miss Katie Bogner, our junior high faith teacher, and Miss Jenny Witt, our director of evangelization, teach the girls. It is such a gift to spend the extra time with the kids. We really are blessed with great kids at our school, who of course come from great families. The topics can be challenging to discuss, but the kids had great questions and answers. I was so impressed with the maturity of our kids and their desire to be responsible people. Our school always makes me hopeful for our future Catholic Church.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to hear confessions at the Peoria Notre Dame freshmen retreat. I arrived a bit early for the scheduled confession time to experience a bit of the retreat. I was present to witness several of the upperclassmen give personal faith reflections to the younger students. Several of our former St. Philomena students were also involved in a skit to illustrate the treats and temptations than may come during the high school years. It was such a beautiful expression of faith and talent. I was so proud of our kids and the opportunities they have to grow intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually in a high school environment. I’m so grateful for the continuing faith education our kids receive when they transition from St. Philomena to Peoria Notre Dame. I just wanted to share with you some of the blessings I see in our Catholic education that our kids would certainly not receive in other environments. Our goal always must be to help prepare our kids to live a life ordered toward heaven, while being successful with their gifts and talents in this world.
This past week we celebrated All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. These spiritual days encourage us to reflect on the beauty of our Catholic Christian faith and the dignity of every soul. We all came from God and we all will return to God. The gift of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus is all about revealing the truth of God and bringing all souls to salvation. All Saints’ Day gives us the opportunity to thank God for the example of all the saints in heaven, those we know and those we don’t. The Church’s process to canonize saints is to investigate a saint’s life and miraculous intercession in order to establish that saint must be with God in heaven. However, as Christians we believe every soul in heaven is a saint, as heaven is God’s perfect house. There are thousands of canonized saints in our Church tradition, but there are millions of saints in heaven that we don’t recognize on our Church calendar. All Saints’ Day gives us the opportunity to recognize the saints we know, as well as the saints we don’t, while we ask all of them to pray for us.