CHARLESTON—The Catholic Church has an untold number of people who work behind the scenes to spread the Gospel message. Sometimes, someone looks in their direction and recognizes their contributions.
Such was the case Jan. 21 when Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone honored the parish directors and coordinators of religious education for the Diocese of Charleston with a Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and a luncheon.
Standing before the group, which represented over 100 churches and missions, the bishop thanked God for giving them their ministry.
He also thanked the men and women for having the courage to continue walking with God despite the difficulties they may face.
Sister Pamela Smith, director of Catechesis and Christian Initiation for Parishes and Schools and a Sister of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, introduced the program.
Citing sacred Scripture, she said those who “instruct the people in goodness will shine like the stars for all eternity.”
These leaders are the staff members and volunteers who oversee the many levels of religious education offered at parishes across the five deaneries, Sister Pam wrote in a press release.
Bishop Guglielmone acknowledged their contributions in what Sister Pam called a first-time event.
During his homily, the bishop spoke about the various goals of youth and adults, and how the question upon attaining those goals is always: “Is that all? Is there something more?” The answer is yes. The more is God. As St. Augustine said, “Our souls are restless until they rest in you, oh Lord.”
“There’s only one thing that’s going to fulfill the human soul and that’s intimacy with the Lord,” Bishop Guglielmone said.
He said it is the directors and coordinators of religious education who have the crucial job of helping people discover ways to find and maintain that intimacy with God.
“It is God that will give meaning to everything we live for,” he said.
Other pathways may look attractive, full of fun and entertainment, but they are dead-ends, and they are deadly, the bishop said.
He praised religious education leaders for keeping all of God’s children focused and constantly learning about what really matters in life.
After Mass at the Cathedral, the group had a luncheon and awards ceremony. Special recognition was given to seven individuals who will reach 20 or more years as of 2010, and the 17 catechetical leaders who will reach 10 or more years.
Sister Pam said the recognition ceremony was initiated by members of the Diocesan Board of Catechetical Advisors.