SFC Newsletters

  • Be Not Afraid - 2020/2021 Theme


    Dear Catholic Formation and School Parents:
     
    Praised be Jesus Christ!  I pray that you are healthy and holy.  For all of the specific measures we are taking this year to ensure the safety and health of our formation families in light of Covid, please read carefully all the communications that our school and formation directors have put forth for you. They have done a great job getting us ready for our formation year to start in the face of so many challenges.
     
    As we prepare to enter into a new formation year, which is different than any other year we have ever experienced in our lives, I just wanted to offer my own additional short message of gratitude and encouragement as a pastor.  As you know, our formation theme for the year is: Be Not Afraid (John 6:20).  That is the Scriptural phrase that seems the most fitting to guide us these days.
     
    There are many voices around us right now, even if very well-intentioned, that unfortunately continue to generate a lot of fear and anxiety.  Moreover, we often worry that we are personally the cause of someone else getting sick or dying if we do not engage in stringent measures of caution.  This is a tremendous emotional burden to carry and it is isolating. 
     
    As Christians, we do respect medicine and science.  Out of love for our neighbors we exercise caution and prudent behaviors to be sure.  However, we also have a healthy sense of what is outside of our control, and that God continues to invite us to live in the friendship and fellowship of community.  We must live our lives.  This is a careful balance of humility, freedom, and caution.  So we should be mindful of public health directives, but we should not live in fear, or with an exaggerated idea that we personally, as opposed to a virus, have harmed someone else.  We should not be careless, but we cannot live in isolation, either.  Such isolation is not good for the soul and it is not what God intends for his human family. 
     
    At our parishes, for our formation and school programs this year, we will most definitely exercise prudence and caution, mindful of all the best recommendations of our public health officials who do want us all to be safe.  We will not carelessly place you or your children in harms way.  The details being offered to you by our formation directors do demonstrate this fact.
     
    At the same time, we will do our best to chart a direction that is calm, patient, measured, and reasonable, that seeks to respect human freedom and our desire for healthy community.  This is the balanced middle ground of the Christian who lives in a fallen world of things that can harm, while also trusting in the grace of God who conquers fear and death.  Know that I am grateful for your engagement of our school and formation programs this year. You are an important witness to the life-giving power of the Gospel.
     
    Be Not Afraid.
     
    Father Nathan