Catholic Identity

Reflections from Fr. Kelly

“Go Forth and Bring the Faith”

All institutions have, or ought to have, a clear “Mission Statement.” Such a statement very briefly clarifies what the purpose of the agency is. Whether it is a service program, an education institution, a for-profit entity, a competitive corporation, a family or an individual, it needs to reflect what its primary goal is and how that goal can be achieved. All involved in the undertaking, project, task or work need to be aware of the specific mission statement under which they operate so that they can reflect it and support it in their various endeavors.

A church or a parish also needs to clarify its purpose in case anyone does not understand how it approaches its ideal. Here at St. John the Baptist our mission statement reflects that we are a community of faith in which both as individuals and as a group we strive by prayer, worship, community, study and service to reflect the ideals of Jesus Christ as we assist each other on the journey of life to attain everlasting salvation. Evangelization (i.e. reflecting the Gospel message) is our primary thrust then in which we seek to help our parishioners and visitors secure the salvation of their souls. All our efforts as a parish, no matter how diverse, must somehow contribute to assisting the fulfillment of this mission statement.

In today's Gospel, Jesus left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea where He began to preach and send disciples out with a purpose (mission) to invite and challenge all people “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He went around proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and brought faith and the method of achieving eternal salvation to people everywhere.

What is your mission statement in life? What are your family's objectives? What are your goals as a professional as in your business? Undoubtedly, you will include preparing yourself and your family for all the demands you will likely face, securing the resources for a meaningful life for your loved ones, developing skills and capacities for a productive career, providing a service to others in the community in your area of interest and so on. But there is a vital area which must be included! The steps you ought to take to secure your eternal salvation should be a primary focus of your personal mission statement as well as for your family and friends. Otherwise, your whole life's endeavor could be in jeopardy. Unless you make your eternal goal a daily part of your plan, you miss the opportunity of an eternity. Can you review your personal mission statement for life and assure proper emphasis on achieving eternal salvation? It will mean a lot someday!

Blessings,

Father Vincent T. Kelly

Catholic identity thrives throughout the STA campus and in the hearts of students, faculty, and staff. Serving those who appear “the least” in the community remains the focus of our efforts in and out of the classroom. We encourage STA students to witness to the call of Jesus in service and faith.

“Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: He sends us to everyone.”
- Pope Francis

Campus Ministry awakens students and faculty to the reality of Jesus present in our lives. In various ways, faith formation remains our focus as we encourage students to engage and explore the Theology curriculum, retreats, religious events, and opportunities for individual involvement. Students serve as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, altar servers, singers, and musicians. STA students share their Catholic Identity through middle school and Confirmation retreat programs at our local parishes. Monthly Nights of Fellowship combine faith, friendship, and fun as the STA community celebrates our Catholic Identity and spiritual camaraderie.