“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20)
PREP 4 Yr. Olds to Grade 5
Thank-you for taking the initiative to learn more about the Religious Education program at St. Andrew by the Bay Catholic Church. These final verses from Matthew are some of the most common verses linked to the churches mandate to holistically educate God’s children. We at St. Andrew by the Bay, strive to follow God’s calling to provide this education to our young children through our PREP program, sacramental preparation, and our ministry to the children involved with both of these.
While you often see these verses from Matthew connected to religious education, the final verse is sometimes left out when used as a mandate for religious education, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." We believe that the first verse must be inextricably linked to the final verse. This last statement of Christ’s is the joy of our hearts and the longing of our souls that enables our ministry to come alive. We endeavor to engage children’s hearts and minds in a way that brings them into the greatest story ever told, the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising to new life precisely so that He can be with us until the end of the age. Without Jesus’ promise to be with us until the end of the age, this mandate would be just that, a heavy mandate weighing on us to follow all that He commands. Instead however, His promise to be with us always reminds us that it is through be connected to Him, in mind, spirit and body, that we are enabled to navigate the stresses of our culture and our busy lives while educating our children in the faith. For it is His strength that we rest on, and His presence that we rely on. This is what He promises us until the end of age when we see Him face to face.
We know that that the first place children learn these truths is at home. We desire to come beside parents and be a strong support in this education of their children. Please join with us in any way possible to be what the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines so powerfully refers to as “the memory of the church”, when describing Christian Education. It is with memory that we are able to look back at the past with full adoration. It is with memory, that we are able to be fully in the present and participate in the sacraments that shower us with Christ’s grace. It is with memory, that we can look to our future with the hope of the promises given and fulfilled, again and again, in Christ’s body.