Religious Education Program
Weekly Letter from our DRE
Welcoming 2021 - “Pray, hope and don’t worry” – St. Padre Pio
As we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord today, ending our Christmas season, let us remember and wholly claim that Jesus Christ has truly freed us through the Sacrament of Baptism. We are Christians, sons and daughters of a loving Father. We are free from everything that enslaves humanity. Free from sin, free from death, and free from everything that binds us to this world as our true home is heaven.
Through the grace of God, Christians have been given enormous power to overcome all that is placed before us as God’s grace is truly sufficient for us. We may look to the communion of saints, who confirm this reality again and again.
Choosing a Saint Buddy for 2021
I have accepted my brother’s suggestion to choose a specific saint to call on in 2021. His parish offers a fun and creative challenge for their parishioners at the beginning of each year. Everyone is encouraged – adults and children - to choose a saint to call on in the new year – a 2021 saint buddy.
The ushers place names of saints on small pieces of folded paper in a collection basket and offer a “reverse collection” to all children and adults. Instead of putting money in the collection basket, the parishioners retrieve a saint’s name from the collection basket. The saint name chosen from the collection basket is their saint buddy for the new year. The people report back throughout the year of how their saint has accompanied them and helped them to live holier lives as a result.
My brother’s parish could not offer the reverse collection basket activity this year due to covid restrictions, so parishioners were encouraged to do some saint research with their families. Sound familiar? This year we are called to think creatively in hope to live out our mission as individuals, families, and parishes.
For me, St. Padre Pio, is calling me to pray to him as we enter 2021. St. Padre Pio is my saint buddy for this year. His well-known advice, “Hope, Pray and Don’t Worry,” challenges me to live in a state of hope and prayer as much as I am able to in the present state of our world. Calling myself back to hope when I slip into worry.
Padre Pio says that anxiety and worry are useless as God answers our prayers. So often my conversations with families, catechists and staff end with “Do the best you can.” We are all trying to do the best we can during this pandemic and all its effects.
My hopes for the families in OLPH RE are many in 2021, so I will inform you of three goals here: 1) a fully launched new RE website, 2) forming a reopening team to bring our families back on site, and 3), expanding our current RE board to an RE advisory board to best serve the families here.
We have been working tirelessly to complete a new RE website to provide current, consistent communication, and transparency. We plan to release the website within the next 2 weeks. God willing. Currently, our catechists are in training to learn how to post information and assignments to our new RE website, collect assignments via the website, and easily communicate with families. Forming a reopening team and expanding the RE Board to an RE Advisory requires help and commitment from our parishioners, so I will be reaching out to you.
I will conclude with another St. Padre Pio quote as I turn another year of my life and work over to our Lord and ask for His blessings: “My past, O Lord, to your mercy. My present O Lord to your love, and my future O Lord, to your providence.” Amen.
Margaret Waldron, MBA, LEM, MAPS
Certified Director of Religious Education
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
Direct Line: 847-998-5289
OLPH RE website: www.olphre.org/splash/