Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time  

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

While most schools began classes last week, our Religious Education Program is making the final reception of registrations. There will be a difference this year, as the Missionary Sisters of Saint John will begin an added special program for our second-generation Latino population, Escuela Latina de Cultura, Historia y Religion for children 7 – 12 years of age. This is an initiative to revive cultural traditions, historical awareness, and religious values that are often challenged by the social norms of our day. This program, though experimental, will offer our second-generation Latino children an opportunity to maintain their cultural heritage while continuing to integrate both the American and Latino culture in the process of social assimilation. Our investment as a parish to educate our children in the most basic principle of cultural awareness will surely strengthen their self-knowledge and self-identity.

I encourage our families to explore this opportunity and make an investment in the cultural education combined with a profound catechetical instruction of our children. The program begins towards the end of September and will take place every Saturday from 9:00am until 1:30pm. Since there is a limited number of the religious sisters who will facilitate the program, our enrollment this year cannot exceed more than fifty students. This added program is different from the regular Religious Education program in so many ways—the length of instruction, the academic training and the cost of tuition are among the most obvious areas that one may use as a comparison. The Sisters have prepared a curriculum for your reference should you decide to invest in the education of your children for the sake of making their social integration more confident and informed.

As many of our families do not send their children to a Catholic school, another significant goal of this program is to compensate the cultural and catechetical formation that public schools do not offer in their curriculum. We are trying to influence our children with social, cultural, and religious values that we believe will be beneficial to their growth as young members of our immigrant families. Please consult the Sisters if you have any inquiries about this initiative. What I can assure you is the benefits that our children will receive according to their level of interest to know their cultural heritage.

Finally, we continue to do our Volunteer Weekend on the First Saturday of each month. Please come and help us organize the different rooms in the parish. We need manpower. This is a way to be good stewards of our time and talent. Remember that the previous generation of parishioners left us several buildings to keep organized and properly maintained. We have the responsibility to care for these huge buildings, as we know that these are really God’s property. Everything is a gift, and we ought to be grateful. Until then.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,