This year the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 15 and will focus on the theme “Open the Door of Faith.” This special day offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of baptism in handing on the light of faith and being witnesses to the Gospel. The theme calls us to be mindful of a loving God who is always trying to do something new in our lives. Our God is one who challenges us to greatness and to freedom. Yet, so often we resist. Afraid to risk and open up the door of our hearts to God’s healing presence, we continue to be weighed down by our past, or we are reluctant to face the future. Yet we know that faith is a gift which helps us rediscover the beauty and richness of our faith story and to encounter Jesus afresh, the light and the energy that underpins everything else. We have a mission, and to accomplish the mission we need an open and trusting spirit to go forth as witnesses to God’s incredible compassion, inclusivity and care. Recall the witness of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakastani woman who dared to risk her life — holding on to her vision for justice, of access for all young women to education, a right that all of us take for granted. In her recent speech at the United Nations, 16-year-old Malala reminded us that “one teacher, one student, one book, one pen can change the world.” It is clear that adults, youth and children have their dreams as well. We must seek to encourage, nurture and connect them to role models and witnesses so that they can assume an openness to God’s call and see that their dreams can become a reality.The Catechetical Ministry in the name of the Church has profound dignity. That is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we to set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire Church to think about our responsibility, to fan the flame of our rich faith story and tradition.Affirming that parents are truly the primary catechist of their children, we not only highlight the role of the catechist on Catechetical Sunday but also that of the parents who cultivate and nurture the first seeds of faith.You are invited to join the archdiocesan catechetical community on Sept. 15, 3:30 p.m., in a prayerful Vespers and Catechist Commissioning Service at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. In the context of this special celebration, Archbishop José Gomez will commission several hundred new catechetical ministers and leaders to serve the faith-formation and evangelization needs of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Religious Sister of Charity Edith Prendergast is director of the archdiocesan Office of Religious Education.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0913/catechsunday/{/gallery}