September 9, 2022
Dear Parent or Guardian,
I trust the summer has found you well and even more so the return to school in the last few weeks. If you feel like the world has turned upside down over the last few years, you’re not alone. I have felt that myself, especially as I accompany the many parishioners and students of Saint Andrew Parish and School.
In the midst of chaos, we look for anchors to hold us. When tribulation abates, with a newfound wisdom, it is time to tend to the anchors still secured and place new ones in the hope of forming an enduring sanctuary in our hearts. This is the framework that best suits the Catholic teaching to attend Sunday Mass. It arises not out of a sense of fear or punishment, but a sense of health and wellness in our relationship with God and others.
I know that the pandemic disrupted many of our best habits. I also know many of the families associated with Saint Andrew are not Catholic. Nevertheless, I would be beside myself if I did not share with you the reminder that the spiritual anchors which hold us through the storms of life are always in need of tending. For Catholics, this should resemble a commitment toward Sunday worship at Mass, or at least an appropriate accommodation such as those who attend Mass through our live stream (found at www.standrew.org/sundaymass) or who attend Mass on Saturday evening (which is the vigil anticipation of Sunday worship). For those who are not Catholic, it may be to attend the center of worship that is part of your family’s tradition.
However you strengthen your family’s relationship with God, I should underline that the friendship we hold with God can never be reduced to an academic activity. While classes on religion and even attending a Catholic school may enhance our knowledge about God, the heart of our relationship with God is built upon what we do outside of a classroom structure.
To support all families at Saint Andrew in the coming year, we are providing you with this book “Celebrating Sunday for Catholic Families 2022-23.” This is a resource book for your Sunday Mass experience. For our school, religious education program, and parish media, it will serve as the reference point of faith formation during the upcoming year and therefore, I want you to have a copy and to utilize it.
As your family continues to strengthen its spiritual center, I hope you will use this book on a weekly basis. It has valuable reflections for you and your children, good conversation starters before and after Mass, and ideas to further implement Jesus’ message in your everyday life.
The book is based on the Sunday Gospel readings. For Christians churches who continue to hold the liturgical calendar (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodists, Presbyterians), you will find that the Gospel reading is often the same across denominations. This means the resource book is useful for you even if your Sunday worship is not fulfilled with your friends who are Catholic.
For those who are still working on a formal relationship with God, I believe you will find welcoming the way that the book steps you and your family into deeper conversations about things that are important. For all of us, the book is a vehicle for something of immeasurable value, the weekly tending to our spiritual life. Each of us needs that!
Through our school administration, I’ve instructed our talented faculty to utilize this book on a weekly basis during religion class, and I also encourage you to watch the weekly one-minute video that our staff will be providing to help you start a conversation with your children about Jesus’ message.
I don’t know what storms lie ahead in our world, but I know that there will be days in our future that will be as challenging as our past. I am hopeful that God’s care for us and our mutual care for one another will hold us fast and keep us safe. May God continue to bless you and I look forward to seeing you and worshiping God with you in the weeks and months to come.
Rev. Sergio Romo
Pastor, Saint Andrew Parish
P.S. Our website now includes the weekly reflection and start question to help you on get ready for Mass on Sunday! Find the information at http://standrew.org/celebrating-sundays/