Solemn vespers to honor catechists

BRAINTREE -- At 3 p.m. on April 28, catechists, religious education teachers, parish directors and coordinators of religious education, family and friends will gather for a Solemn Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston. Bishop Robert P. Deeley, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, will lead the service.

During vespers, 55 catechists from around the archdiocese will receive Certificates of Recognition acknowledging their dedication and faithfulness to parish religious education.

The catechists serve their parishes at many levels. Some work with young children, junior high and high school students, and teens preparing for confirmation, some are discussion leaders in programs of total community catechesis, adult faith formation, and RCIA. All of them share a generosity of spirit and fidelity to the Catholic faith which moves them to volunteer in their parishes, to sharing and handing on the faith.

Two catechetical leaders, recommended by their pastors for their extraordinary work in the parish, will receive the Sister Marion O'Connor R.C. Award for Excellence in Catechetical Leadership. Sister Marion was part of the Archdiocesan Office of Religious Education for many years, respected locally, nationally, and internationally for her work. This award has been given annually since her death in 1997.

To mark the Year of Faith, the Office of Religious Education will also confer the Gaudium et Spes Award for Service to a parish religious education director who has given exemplary service to the parish and archdiocese.

All are welcome and encouraged to come to this solemn vespers service to celebrate the women and men in every parish around the archdiocese who hold and teach the Catholic faith, and honor in a special way those who will be formally recognized for their contribution to the evangelization of youngsters and adults in parishes.

Susan Abbott, Director of the Office of Religious Education, commented that this vespers service in the Year of Faith is a wonderful opportunity for Catholics to visit our cathedral, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and seat of our cardinal archbishop, and support the work of faith formation in our parishes.

There will be a reception following the service; please contact the Office of Religious Education 617-779-3625 to respond.