Nurturing Our Faith
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“Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother… because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith,” Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 169. As responsible Christians, we must pass on from one generation to the next, the sacred traditions that come from the Apostles. These traditions were developed in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Church builds and reinforces faith in our children through the Sunday School programs.
Realizing the need for spiritual growth in our children, Fr. Kurian Neduvelichalumkal, our Vicar, initiated the effort to start faith formation at our parish; more commonly known as Sunday School program. On October 7, 2007, Rev. Fr. Roy Kaduppil, Chancellor of the Chicago Diocese, formally inaugurated the faith formation program at our Church. What began with 40 students and 10 volunteer teachers has now grown to 165 students and 26 volunteer teachers! The mission of our Sunday School program is to do the following for our enrollees: lay a firm foundation in our Catholic faith, develop a sense of concern and compassion for others (especially the elders), cultivate and help bring to action Christian values in daily life, teach prayers and hymns in Malayalam, provide a better understanding of the significance of the Syro-Malabar Rite, and last but never the least, to facilitate and participate in our growing as “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”
There are various other activities that our Sunday School children take part in, in addition to following the religious academic syllabus. Our children are given opportunities to develop and demonstrate their talents, especially during the annual Christmas program. As a tradition, during the Lenten season, children participate in a 30 day Lenten project where they step out of their comfort zone and are challenged to be Christ-like. Recently, our Church had it’s first ever Bible Quiz covering the Gospel of St. John. Children put in their best efforts and set high standards for the final round. Every year the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation are administered after necessary training and preparation. Eighth graders and above also have the option of joining the Youth ministry.
Sunday School program is from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Parents are encouraged to enroll your children if not already done so in our Sunday School program.
It is the sincere effort of every teacher to instruct each child on biblical teachings and train them in righteousness, as they journey through life, “so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:17. Children develop their faith from different sources – family, friends, church, and school, just to name a few. Though, family is the most important of all. Therefore, our prime responsibility and solemn obligation is to foster the spiritual growth of our children. When the foundation is laid based on God’s teachings, all good things will follow.
“Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.” Psalm 127:3