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Stengthening Faith Formation in Family Life

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

October 17, 2018

Bishop LaValley Rosary

As you know, one of our Diocesan Pastoral Priorities is to Strengthen Faith Formation in Family Life. In my summer pastoral visits, I participated in several events that spoke powerfully of our local efforts to address this important need. For instance, recently I was privileged to join Father Gilbert Menard and Father Kris Lauzon and his parishioners at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Keeseville. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. This year, the parish honored their patroness with a special event on that day which filled the Church.

Following Mass, many children and young adults joined parents and grandparents to participate in the Living Rosary. The participants lined up around the interior of the Church as, one by one, the youngster would pray a prayer of the Rosary. If necessary, the little, shy, participant would be aided by a parent or grandparent in the prayer. Youngsters were learning prayers and praying with loved ones and with the parish family of faith, including priests, catechists, altar servers, the Altar Rosary Society and the Knights of Columbus. This was truly hope-filled evidence of the parish as a school of prayer.

This year, on the day in which the Church has marked as Respect Life Sunday, pregnant moms, folks in a Bishop LaValley Rosarywheelchair, the young and not-so-young, the healthy and the not-so-healthy came together to celebrate life and their love of Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church. After prayers were concluded in the Church, everyone enjoyed a scrumptious meal. It was a wonderfully inspiring occasion for me to witness firsthand the Strengthening of Faith Formation in Family Life. (Those chocolate chip cookies tasted mighty fine on my way back home!)

By the time of the publication of this article, a second important event will have taken place at the other end of the Diocese at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

On Saturday, October 13th, a family event was scheduled to be held: “The Catholic Family: God’s Answer for Our Time.” This special occasion was another opportunity for us to focus on this important Pastoral Priority.

Johnnette Benkovic Williams, Founder of Women of Grace, joined by Presenters Thomas Sullivan and Sue Brinkman help us, teens and adults, strengthen faith formation in family life.

Let us all continue our efforts to address the Diocesan Pastoral Priorities that we established in 2014: Creating a Culture of Vocations; Strengthening Faith Formation in Family Life; and Building Parishes with Living Stones. It’s clear to me, determined to renew faith, nurture hope, and discover love, our parishes are energized and truly blessed.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

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