September 20, 2015

Catechetical Sunday 2015 – “Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person.”

A Letter from Bishop William Murphy

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Passing on the faith is a responsibility that is shared by every member of the Body of Christ. In the Acts
of the Apostles St. Luke names catechesis, teaching the faith within the faith community and passing it on
to form the next generation as one of the five marks of a vibrant Church that lives in Christ Jesus.
While our concern for our brothers and sisters and especially our young people is a mark of our being a
community of faith, our witness excludes no one and our love spills over into the wider community. As
Catholics we embrace everyone as brother or sister because we all are created in the image and likeness of God.
Because that truth is so fundamental, this year’s Catechetical Sunday has as its theme: SAFEGUARDING
THE DIGNITY OF EVERY HUMAN PERSON. It is to every human person created in God’s image that
God gives human rights. They apply to everyone for that reason and that reason alone. Our Catholic
social teaching upholds this. Our lives as Catholics defend this. Our society today needs to hear this.
Upholding and teaching this includes grasping the crucial difference between the truth that God gives us
our rights and the falsehood that the state or the government gives us our rights. Political institutions
have the obligation to recognize, protect and promote our human rights, not regulate them or interfere
with them as is happening today in all parts of the world including our own country.
Human rights and civil rights are not the same. You cannot deny human rights. You can develop civil
rights through positive laws. But if so called “civil rights” contradict human rights, they too are wrong
and need to be corrected.
In this important area of cathechetics as in so many other aspects of faith formation and moral guidance,
this Church and all our parishes are doing so much to educate your children. I urge all parents to attend
the meetings set up for you to fulfill your responsibility as the first educators of your children. Our
catechetical leaders are constantly updating their expertise. The faith formation programs are getting
better and better every year, being renewed to help your children understand and live their faith in a very complex world and a very secular society.
These and so many other aspects of our Catholic social teaching can be found on the website of the
Diocese and the other diocesan websites including the Office of Faith Formation. Please take advantage
of these sources of information. And please be one with the whole Church in safeguarding the dignity of
every human person!

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 20, 2015, and will focus on the theme “Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person.” Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. View or download resources