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Our Children Are The Evangelizers

By Margaret Dubose

Our Children Are The Evangelizers

“But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” — MATTHEW 13:23

Each of us is called to ongoing growth and conversion. We’re called to be formed into disciples through our families, our community, and through religious education. And, we are called to tell the world of the Good News contained in the Gospels. Young and old, we all are called to evangelization.

One of our wise principals recently said, “Our kids are the evangelizers.” She was right on target. Our children are called to be disciples, now and for the rest of their lives. Our knowing the role of Catholic schools, the role of our children, and that those children are the greatest reflections of God’s love and His image on earth is central to this almost circular view of evangelization of the Catholic faith and the call we each have to evangelize the faith. (USCCB, What is Evangelization? Go and Make Disciples)

Children often act as the drivers of our faith

Many families choose Catholic schools out of their strong desire to surround their child in the rich soil of Catholic faith and tradition. They seek faith-filled formation of their children, with Jesus Christ at the center of all they experience. There are also families who only rediscover that desire through the love and faith they and their children experience in our Catholic schools and through Christ’s love and image that radiate directly and strongly from the beautiful, perfect innocence of a child. Our kids are the evangelizers, and we are called to keep them surrounded by the rich soil of our Catholic faith at every turn, helping them become disciples and continue in that role even after the innocence of childhood fades.

Any farmer or gardener knows that they must match the soil they have with what they want to grow. The farmer knows that he or she cannot plant the seeds and walk away until harvest. The soil itself is enriched, and the farmer is intentional with the seeds that are planted. He or she recognizes each plant and knows it by name and envelops it with the hospitable environment it needs to grow.

Our Diocese of Birmingham students are surrounded by the rich soil of their Catholic school environment with faith formation that permeates their excellent academic instruction and extracurricular development. They are known by name among our teachers and staff and are continually enriched by a student body and faith community joined to support them in their journey into discipleship. Our families partner closely with us in the overall formation of their students and, in turn, experience continual growth and conversion in their own faith – through school-wide sacramental, service, and community opportunities and as they see their children blossom.

Our kids are the evangelizers

As these students grow, our Catholic schools, along with our families and parish communities, keep them clothed in that image of Christ, instilling in them the truths and traditions of our faith and providing them with knowledge and experiences to take those truths out into the world. These evangelizing kids will one day be priests, deacons, religious brothers, and religious sisters who continue leading us in our faith for years to come. They will be the parents looking at the faces of their beautiful in-the-image-of-God children and wanting to surround them in the rich soil of Catholic education. They will be the adults driving the morally rooted decisions that change society and change our world. They will be the people sharing the Good News around the world. They will be those both participating in and encouraging that continual call to growth and conversion. Ultimately, they will be forming new generations of disciples.


Our Catholic Schools Office theme this year, Rooted in Truth, illustrates this beautiful imagery of the rich soil of our Catholic schools along with the roots they help form and the fruits that they produce. Our current families and our past families know that the fruits produced by our Catholic schools impact not just the student and the family, but Catholic faith and society as a whole. What is the greatest fruit but citizens who go on to be rooted in their faith and Christ’s love, embracing their vocation, and evangelizing the faith through word and deed? The fruits of evangelization are changed lives, a changed world, and a lasting impact on our Catholic faith.

Many students in our Diocese of Birmingham Catholic Schools are blessed to receive financial support from three state-approved Scholarship Granting Organizations and other benefactors. Unfortunately, those funds can fluctuate from year to year. To bridge gaps in scholarship support during lean years, our diocese has established the Faith in Education Fund. Gifts can be made at any time online, by mail, or by phone. Please visit bhmdiocese.org and click on “Catholic Charities” for more information or to donate.

Catholic Charities and Communities

P.O. Box 12047

Birmingham, AL 35202

205.838.8309

www.bhmdiocese.org


Margaret Dubose is the Diocese of Birmingham’s Superintendent of Schools and Chair of the Catholic Schools Office.