October 11, 2019

Transform the world through your witness, archbishop tells leaders

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson is pictured in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Sept. 25 with archdiocesan staff and the winners of awards that were presented in the areas of Catholic education, catechesis and youth ministry. Pictured, left, SS. Peter and Paul rector Father Patrick Beidelman, who also serves as executive director of the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization; education honoree Sarah Jean Watson; archdiocesan superintendent of schools Gina Fleming; director of the archdiocese’s Office of Youth Ministry Paul Sifuentes; youth ministry honoree Monica Robinson; Archbishop Thompson; catechesis honoree Marianne Hawkins; archdiocesan director of catechesis Ken Ogorek; and archdiocesan director of the Secretariat for  Pastoral Ministries Deacon Michael Braun. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson is pictured in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Sept. 25 with archdiocesan staff and the winners of awards that were presented in the areas of Catholic education, catechesis and youth ministry. Pictured, left, SS. Peter and Paul rector Father Patrick Beidelman, who also serves as executive director of the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization; education honoree Sarah Jean Watson; archdiocesan superintendent of schools Gina Fleming; director of the archdiocese’s Office of Youth Ministry Paul Sifuentes; youth ministry honoree Monica Robinson; Archbishop Thompson; catechesis honoree Marianne Hawkins; archdiocesan director of catechesis Ken Ogorek; and archdiocesan director of the Secretariat for Pastoral Ministries Deacon Michael Braun. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

By John Shaughnessy

Drawing from the wisdom of Pope Francis, Archbishop Charles C. Thompson shared a succinct lesson about faith and discipleship during a Mass that celebrated the leaders who serve on the front lines of religious education in the archdiocese.

“The Holy Father points out that faith always remains something of a cross,” the archbishop said in his homily during the “Co-workers in the Vineyard” Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Sept. 25.

The archbishop then quoted this reminder from the pope, “We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness.”

Focusing on the congregation filled with teachers, principals, school presidents, youth ministers, parish catechetical leaders and other pastoral leaders, Archbishop Thompson added, “That in a nutshell is what it means for us to go out in the vineyards as co-workers—not only with one another, but co-workers remembering always that we are being given the privilege of participating in the life and mission of Christ.”

That participation requires Catholics to share the life and mission of Christ with others, the archbishop continued.

“This missionary impulse of discipleship is evident in our Gospel reading as Jesus sends out the 12 [Apostles]. They are to take nothing with them but their faith and the power of God burning into their witness to bring about release, healing and restoration of hope.

“We who carry on those teachings—all that Jesus has given us through the Apostles—we are being sent to proclaim that Good News as well.”

The archbishop also stressed that followers of Christ should never “take for granted the divine mercy that has saved us from ourselves—from the lasting effects of sin and death.

“We gather here as co-workers in the vineyard with grateful hearts for the mercy of God that has been shown to us,” he said.

“Drawing grace and inspiration from the celebration of word and sacrament, may the missionary impulse of discipleship fuel our efforts in working together and transforming the world as we go about building the kingdom of God by the witness of our faith, word and deed.”

Near the end of the Mass, Archbishop Thompson took part in an awards ceremony honoring three leaders in the archdiocese who exemplify “the witness of our faith, word and deed.” Their stories are shared below. †
 

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