Late summer / early fall is always a time of new beginnings for young people engaged in any form of study. Without a doubt, this new school year is unlike any other! Some of our students are back in school in person (though with certain modifications), others are in class virtually, while still others are in some hybrid form of education. Whatever the case may be, the common sentiment is that “the show must go on”, meaning that the pandemic cannot be a reason not to continue with something as important as education.
The same is true with the practice of our faith. While we felt the need to suspend public masses for a time, we knew that continuing along that path was not tenable. While we can be sustained for a short period with making a Spiritual Communion, doing so long-term is virtually impossible except in rare circumstances. While we know the Eucharist to be the source and summit of our lives as Catholics, we also need other ways of practicing our faith and growing in our understanding and appreciation for our faith.
With that in mind, we are trying to be more intentional here at the Cathedral in presenting all of you with ways to stay engaged and to keep moving forward, even during these challenging times. One of the ways that we hope to do that is through our Cathedral Weekly. Beginning with this issue, we will be implementing a slightly new format. We will be returning to our larger 8-page issues in order to provide some more content for all of you in your efforts to continue to grow in your faith. Each month will be dedicated to a particular theme. Those themes have been chosen to coincide with the themes we will be using this year in our Family of Faith program here at the Cathedral. The overall theme for this year is the Sacraments. In each issue, you will find content on the monthly theme with articles written by clergy and laity in the parish. We will have a weekly focus on one of the saints of the Church whose story will hopefully inspire us as we continue on our path of discipleship. Overall, it is our hope that this will be a weekly resource that continues to sustain you throughout the week.
The theme that we will be focusing on this month is The Role of Parents in Education. Even if you do not have children, or if your children are grown up and out of the house, I think you will still find the content helpful. And if it does not apply to you personally, I can bet that you know somebody to whom it does apply and you can share the content with them.
While our young people are heading back to school, let us see the opportunity that lies ahead for all of us to recommit ourselves to this lifelong task of formation in our Catholic faith. Keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities for growth that will be available soon, both virtual and in person. As I mentioned earlier, “the show must go on”, and it is our hope that this “opening act” of introducing a new bulletin format will entice you to stay tuned in for what lies ahead.
Father Alford is the Rector of the Cathedral and serves in the diocesan curia as the Vicar for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations