Category Archives: Faith Formation News

September Faith Formation Update

Summer vacation is now past, and before us is the promise of another school year, and a year of growing in relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  

This coming weekend we kick off all our programs. I have been saying that this faith formation year is going to be EPIC. Here are some of the reasons why. Our K-5th classes are using a new book called Spirit of Truth by Sophia Press. It’s a fantastic book that uses the various learning modalities of students to teach the material. Every student will learn according to their ability.

Our junior high students are going to be attending EDGE. Study after study shows that by time students get to 6th grade they are ready for a new way of learning and engaging with the faith. EDGE is that format. Students will begin in large group for an icebreaker activity, opening prayer and the lesson of the day. They will then break into small groups to discuss the teaching with a CORE Team Member! They will finish in large group. 

Students preparing for 1st Penance and 1st Communion are going to be using the BLESSED program from Dynamic Catholic. It is truly the best program for forming children for these two beautiful sacraments of the church. And not only that, it is a program that brings the whole family together to learn and grow in faith.

Truly this year is going to be EPIC. And the biggest reason it’s going to be EPIC is that we will all Encounter Jesus Christ, Engage with our Faith, and Witness our faith to others.

On a spiritual note, September is the month of angels. At the end of the month we have the feast days of the archangels, and our guardian angels. As this new school year begins, as a family pray the St. Michael prayer and the Guardian angel prayer every day for protection. Prayers can be found at the end of this communication.

 

I’m praying for you.

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

Faith Formation News for September

Mark your Calendars!

Monthly/Family Sessions

Just a reminder that we are NOT using Champions for Life this year. Due to the lack of volunteer help it is not feasible to return to CFL and offer the students a meaningful faith experience. Therefore, our monthly sessions will be for student and parent(s). Students need to attend at least 5 of the 7 offered sessions.

Our first monthly session is this Saturday, September 8, 4:30pm Mass at Sacred Heart followed by a family session from 5:30-6:30pm.

***Students in grades 6-8 who are registered for the monthly/summer program can attend an EDGE gathering in place of the Saturday gathering.

Weekly Programs (K-5th)

9th and 10th are the first classes for our Sunday and Monday program.

***All parents are asked to attend the opening class with their children.

EDGE Middle School Youth Group (6th-8th grade)

            Sunday morning 8:45am-10:00am OR Monday 6:30pm-8:00pm at St. Joseph School

9/10- Ignition!

16/17-Kindling!

23/24- Everlasting! and Chosen: Why am I here?

30/1-Life in the Fire!

 

EMMAUS High School Youth Group (9th-12th)

            Sundays from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Youth Room at St. Joseph School

9-Jesus as True God and True Man

16-The Beatitudes

23- Chosen- Who is the Holy Spirit?

30-Truth, Freedom, and Responsibility

 

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

Confirmation

Orientations for both Year 1 and Year 2: September 5 at 7:00pm OR September 9 at 11:30am.

Both orientations are at Sacred Heart. Parent and candidate attend together.

Year 1- 1st meeting is on the 24th at 6:30pm

Year 2- 1st meeting is on the 23rd at 6:30pm

1st Penance

Orientations/Lesson 1: September 20th at 6:30pm at St. Alphonsus Parish Center OR 22nd at 8:30am at Sacred Heart. Parent and Child attend together.  

 

Family Faith Formation

PRAYER TO
SAINT MICHAEL
THE ARCHANGEL

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

Prayer
To Your
Guardian
Ange
l

 

 

 

 

 

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God's love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.

Amen.

 

August Faith Formation Update

Hello Families,                                                

Praised be Jesus Christ!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the dog days of summer!

Our final month of summer vacation is upon us and before we know it the school bells will be ringing again. August is a month of preparation in many ways. Families are preparing for another school year, fall sports begin practicing, and we are preparing for an EPIC year for Breakthrough Faith Formation!

If you are receiving this monthly update that means that you are registered for the 2018- 2019 Faith Formation year! Thank you for registering. If you know of families who have not yet registered, please encourage them to do so as soon as possible as after August 15 there will be a $5 late fee attached to the registration fee.

August is a rich month in our Catholic Faith, especially in its honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.” (catholicculture.org)

August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. This year St. Mary’s in Auburn will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Matano. Everyone is invited!

Some of the other feast days in August are 6- Transfiguration of the Lord, 11-St. Clare, 22-Queenship of Mary, and on the 27 is the feast of St. Monica, patron saint of Wives and Mothers. Our Catholic Faith is so rich and beautiful!

As you use this month to prepare for the fall, as a family put together a family plan to make sure that your faith doesn’t fall on the backburner, but is central in the family, especially once school and all the activities begin. Our families are called to shine with the light of Christ in all we do. Use Mary as your model!  

I’m praying for you.

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

Faith Formation News for August

Registration for 2018-2019

As mentioned above, if you know anyone who has not registered, please encourage them to do so as soon as possible. Deadline for regular registration is Wednesday August 15. After August 15th there will be a $5 late fee added to the registration fee.

Mark your Calendars!

Monthly Sessions

The 1st monthly session is on Saturday September 8. 4:30pm Mass at Sacred Heart followed by a family session.

Weekly Programs (K-5)

Our Sunday morning and Monday afternoon programs begin September 9 and 10

EDGE Middle School Youth Group (6-8th grade)

            Sunday morning 8:45am-10:00am OR Monday 6:30pm-8:00pm at St. Joseph School

We begin September 9 and 10!

EMMAUS High School Youth Group (9-12)

            Sundays from 6:00pm-7:30pm in Youth Room at St. Joseph School

 August

5- Mini Golf at Tom Thumb

12- Cookout and Movie

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

            Confirmation- Orientations on September 5 OR 9 for Year 1 and 2

            1st Penance– Orientations on September 20 OR 22

Summer Sessions 2018

August 6-17. 8:30am to Noon at Sacred Heart

 

Adult Faith Formation

This is an opportunity not to be missed! Learn about the history, traditions, and richness of our Catholic Faith from the comfort of your home! Having viewed this series and used it as a teacher, you will love it!

July Faith Formation Update

Hello Families,                                                

Praised be Jesus Christ!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying these early days of summer vacation!   

In my June letter I suggested some ideas on how the family can use summer to grow in relationship with each other as well as grow in faith. As Christians our whole identity is founded on relationship. Why? Because God, a Trinity, is relationship, and God has desired to be in relationship with us. God’s desire for us is the basis of scripture, the writings of our saints, and the liturgical/sacramental life of our faith.

Every time we go to mass and receive our Lord in the Holy Sacrament of the altar we receive him body, blood, soul, and divinity. We touch heaven in communion! How awesome is that?! What makes that moment of communion even more intense is that as we touch heaven we are in communion with all those who have gone before us, the Communion of Saints!

We all know someone who has passed from this life into eternal life. When I receive communion or adore our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration I feel that much closer to my loved ones who have gone before me. Our relationship has not ended, it has just changed. We should not only pray for our deceased love ones but ask them to pray for us just as we ask our recognized Saints to pray for us.

One such saint is Saint Maria Goretti, whose picture is above. She is a patron saint of youth, young women, purity, and victims of rape. Her feast day is July 6. At the end of the month we celebrate the feast day of Saints Joachim and Ann on July 26. They are the parents of Mary and are role models for parents. July is a great month to discover the role of saints in our Catholic faith.

Catholic.org is a helpful website to learn about saints. They have a listing of saints by day and month. Spend some time as a family and discover the saints celebrated on each family member’s birthday.

I’m praying that you and your family have a safe, and holy summer

In the peace of Christ,

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

 

Faith Formation News for July

Registration for 2018-2019

Please try to get registration forms back to the Faith Formation office by the end of the month. We need to plan accordingly for the upcoming year, and we need everyone to do their part to make that happen.  

Deadline for regular registration is Wednesday August 15. After August 15th there will be a $5 late fee added to the registration fee.

Next year is going to be EPIC!

EMMAUS High School Youth Group

            Sundays from 6:00pm-7:30pm in Youth Room in St. Joseph School unless otherwise noted.

July

1- The Joys of Ice Cream! Ice Cream Sundae Contest

8- Game Night! Bring your favorite board game or card game

15- Feast of St. Bonaventure: Turn boredom into meaningful moments

22- No meeting

29- Feast of St. Martha- Service opportunity

Summer Sessions 2018

July 9-20 and August 6-17

The summer sessions for 2018 are only open to those who were part of the 2017 summer sessions as this summer completes last summer.

Service Opportunity!

The St. Alphonsus Parish Life Team is looking for volunteers to help with donation drop offs and set up for our annual Garage Sale. 

The last drop off is the 30th of June. Set up for the sale is on July 12th and 13th, with the sale being on the 14th.

Help needed most especially on July 12th when we move all the sale items from the storage container into the gym. Saturday June 30 from 9-11:30 to sort and move items into the container. July 12 & 13 setting up from 8am until 5pm. 

Contact Jeanette Richardson at richardsonjm@hotmail.com of the Faith Formation office if you would like to help! 

 

Technology and Faith

OFFICIAL APP OF MASSTIMES.ORG!

The purpose of the Mass Times ministry is to help Catholics get to Mass by helping them find churches and worship times worldwide. We do this by hosting and sharing the most comprehensive database of Catholic churches and worship times in existence. Dioceses, parishes, and many volunteers help us keep the database current. We also host the masstimes.org website that our visitors use to search for Mass times.

June Faith Formation Update

Can you hear it? Can you hear the excitement of the approaching summer vacation? The anticipation is almost palpable. With summer vacation comes great opportunities for the family to grow in relationship with each other, and to grow in faith!  

Some ideas for the family this summer include:

  1. Cook/bake together.
  2. Do projects around the house together.
  3. Go on a hike and talk about how God has given us this beautiful creation to enjoy but also the responsibility to take care of it.
  4. Go on a pilgrimage. Visit a cathedral or a holy shrine i.e. St. Kateri Shrine
  5. Go to daily mass.
  6. Go to mass on vacation. This helps teach kids that no matter where we go there is a catholic church nearby. See link suggestion below.
  7. Try a new prayer experience i.e. adoration, the rosary, chaplet of divine mercy.

The most important thing we can do for our kids is give them undivided time and attention, and model/practice with them a life of faith. Check out the many articles and suggestions found on the Loyola Press website.

I’m praying that you and your family have a safe, and holy summer vacation!

This Sunday! Please consider participating in St. Mary’s Corpus Christi Procession on June 3. Procession starts at 2pm at Tyburn Academy and moves to St. Mary’s Church! Celebrate Jesus in His amazing gift in the Eucharist!

Faith Formation News for June

Registration for 2018-2019

Everyone should have received the new BREAKTHROUGH Faith Formation handbook as well as registration form. If not please contact the office. Please be sure to take your time when reading through the materials. We offer many options, and because of that things can be confusing with the amount of information. We tried our best to make the handbook as user friendly as possible. Suggestions on how to make communications clearer in the future are welcome.

Deadline for regular registration is Wednesday August 15. After August 15th there will be a $5 late fee added to the registration fee.

Next year is going to be EPIC!

EMMAUS High School Youth Group

            Sundays from 6:00pm-7:30pm in Youth Room in St. Joseph School unless otherwise noted!

June Schedule

3- Feast of Corpus Christi! Eucharistic Procession! 2pm-4pm! No night meeting!

10-Taking Care of the Soul!

16- Hiking Trip to Buttermilk State Park 10am-3pm (Pack a Lunch)

17- Father’s Day! No meeting!

24- Nativity of St. John the Baptist! Movie Night: The Greatest Showman!

Monthly Session

Sunday June 3- Participation in St. Mary’s Eucharistic Procession! 2pm-4pm This is a parent child event! See Carlo or Matt to sign in at Tyburn.

Summer Sessions 2018

July 9-20 and August 6-17

The summer sessions for 2018 are only open to those who were part of the 2017 summer sessions as this summer completes last summer.

Sacraments for 2018-2019

Once regular registration form is returned, we will mail out information and registration for 1st Penance and/or Confirmation for those ready to begin their journey toward the reception of these sacraments.

You can find information regarding all our programs on our website!

 

Technology and Faith

OFFICIAL APP OF MASSTIMES.ORG!

The purpose of the Mass Times ministry is to help Catholics get to Mass by helping them find churches and worship times worldwide. We do this by hosting and sharing the most comprehensive database of Catholic churches and worship times in existence. Dioceses, parishes, and many volunteers help us keep the database current. We also host the masstimes.org website that our visitors use to search for Mass times.

 

 

May Faith Formation Update

May is traditionally celebrated as a month dedicated to our blessed mother. Click here to read a fantastic article about this monthly  celebration of Mary!  As a family, come up with a plan to grow in love of our Blessed Mother.

Congratulations to our 2nd graders who have and who are preparing to receive their 1st Eucharist, and to our confirmation candidates who will receive the sacrament of confirmation on Thursday May 3rd!

In a couple of weeks you will be receiving information regarding registration for the 2018-2019 faith formation year. One thing you will notice is that our faith formation program is now called “Breakthrough Faith Formation”! In scripture there are numerous times that God “broke through” in someone’s life. Their lives gained new meaning, a new identity, a new mission, with a clear destination. Well our faith formation program will be a place where our students, catechists, and families will Encounter the love of God, Engage with our faith, and learn how to Witness/Share our faith with others! It will be a time and space for God to Breakthrough into our lives! Next year is going to be EPIC!

Mark Your Calendars! Please consider participating in St. Mary’s Corpus Christi Procession on June 3. Procession starts at 2pm at Tyburn Academy and moves to St. Mary’s Church! Celebrate Jesus in His amazing gift in the Eucharist!

 

Faith Formation News for May

***NEW***EDGE Middle School Youth Group (6th, 7th, 8th Grades)

            You have spoken! We have listened!

May 7- 7:00pm-8:30pm –St. Alphonsus Gym

May 21- 7:00pm-8:30pm – St. Alphonsus Gym

 

EMMAUS High School Youth Group

            Sundays from 6:00pm-7:30pm in Youth Room in St. Joseph School unless otherwise noted!

May Schedule

6- Who is Mary and why is she my mother? (***Meet at St. Francis Church) Taco Night for Cinco de mayo!

13- Mother’s Day! The importance of Mothers!  

17- 5:30pm Holy Hour at St. Hyacinths followed by food, fellowship and fun!

20- Feast of Pentecost! 5pm Mass! Living in the Spirit!

27- Memorial Day! No Meeting

Monthly Session

Saturday May 5- Topic: People of Spirit! Location: CFL

Sunday June 3- Participation in St. Mary’s Eucharistic Procession! 2pm-4pm

Adult Faith Formation

The Bread of Life: Foundations of a Eucharistic Spirituality Dr..Matthew Kuhner, will offer eight spiritual talks at St Mary's Church Hall leading up to the Feast of Corpus Christi. The talks will explore the foundational ways in which the Eucharistic encounter can take root in our lives, shaping our spirituality, our work, and our relationships. The talks will be given over four consecutive Wednesdays beginning May 9th. There will be 2 one hour talks given each Wednesday starting at 10:30 AM with Eucharistic Adoration and lunch break between the talks. A free lunch will be provided to those who sign up for lunch by calling St Mary's 252 9545 at least 24 hours prior to each Wednesday. 

 

 

Technology and Faith

OFFICIAL APP OF MASSTIMES.ORG!

The purpose of the Mass Times ministry is to help Catholics get to Mass by helping them find churches and worship times worldwide. We do this by hosting and sharing the most comprehensive database of Catholic churches and worship times in existence. Dioceses, parishes, and many volunteers help us keep the database current. We also host the masstimes.org website that our visitors use to search for Mass times.

 

 

Monthly Sessions Update

The May monthly session will be on Saturday May 5th from 6pm-8pm at Champions For Life. We are going to watch the movie, Joseph King of Dreams. 

Attention 6, 7, and 8th graders! Attached is a flyer for our new middle school youth group, EDGE (click here to view the flyer as a PDF). All 6, 7, and 8th graders are invited to participate in this dynamic faith filled program. Attendance at one of the May EDGE meetings will suffice for the monthly session. Beginning in September the EDGE program will be one of the options for middle school (6-8) catechesis. 

The last monthly session will be a family event on Sunday June 3rd. All families are invited to participate in St. Mary's 150th Anniversary Eucharistic Procession from Tyburn Academy to St. Mary's Church. Procession starts at 2pm at Tyburn. Procession ends at St. Mary's with Benediction, roughly around 4pm. Rain or Shine! 

Registration for the summer and next year will be mailed home in the next couple of weeks. This summer is the completion of last summer. The registration is for you to pick the session (July or August). If you paid last summer then you do not need to pay for this summer. 

April Faith Formation Update

Hello Families,

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Alleluia! He is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!

The Easter Season—beginning on Easter Sunday and continuing for 50 days—is an opportunity for us to cultivate a spirit that defines who we are as Christians. So what does living the spirit of the Easter season mean in practical terms? Here are three concrete suggestions.

Live with Joy

Joy is a deep-down gladness that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow. The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus teach us that suffering is transformed through faith in the Risen Christ. With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience from the loss of a loved one, a failure to achieve an important goal, or a setback during recovery from an illness.

Live without Fear

The Resurrection teaches us that God can overcome anything, even death. When the Risen Christ appears to the women at the tomb and later to his disciples, his first words are “Do not be afraid!” (Mt 28:5,10) These words speak to our hearts, helping us cope with the fear from the loss of a job, a serious illness, or a crumbling relationship. Our faith allows us to trust that God can overcome our most serious problems.

Live with New Eyes

Easter means to live with a sense of newness.  Just as the return of spring lifts our spirits and makes us feel like the whole world is new, the Resurrection of Jesus makes “all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) The Easter spirit is a spirit of renewal that enables us to show up at work with a positive attitude, to renew relationships that have been taken for granted, and to express appreciation and affection to those closest to us. It means to see the world through new eyes—God´s eyes.

We can use these 50 days to cultivate an Easter spirit that enables us to be truly Christian: embracing joy, living without fear, and seeing the world again—as if for the first time. (2018 Loyola Press)

You are all in my prayers!

In the peace of Christ,

Carlo Stebbings

 

Faith Formation News for April

 

Sunday and Monday Faith Formation Classes

Sunday- two more classes left, Sunday April 8 and 15

Monday- Last class is Monday April 9

 

Confirmation

Year 1- Last Class Sunday April 8th! Parent meeting at 12:00pm!

Year 2- Sponsor/Candidate Session– Sunday April 15th-3-6pm at St.

               Alphonsus. We will attend the 5pm mass together!

            Confirmation Rehearsal– Monday April 30th– 7pm at St. Mary’s,

          Candidate and sponsor need to attend. If sponsor cannot attend a

          parent needs to attend. Arrive by 6:45pm!

            Confirmation- Thursday May 3rd, 7pm at St. Mary’s. Arrive by

 6:30pm!

 

***NEW***EDGE Middle School Youth Group (6th, 7th, 8th Grades)

            You have spoken! We have listened!

Our middle school youth group will begin meeting this month!

April 17- 7:00pm-8:30pm –St. Alphonsus Parish Center

April 24- 7:00pm-8:30pm – St. Alphonsus Parish Center

 

EMMAUS High School Youth Group

            Sundays from 6:00pm-7:30pm at CFL unless otherwise noted!

April Schedule

1 – Happy Easter! No Meeting!

8 –   Divine Mercy Sunday! What is Mercy?

15 – Peace be With You! How to be people of Peace.

22 – It’s Ok to be a sheep because we have Jesus

29 – 5pm mass at St. Aphonsus! Meeting at St. Alphonsus! Topic: Remaining in the Lord

 

1st Communion

            Wednesdays: April 4, 11, 18

           Thursdays: April 5, 12, 19

 

Monthly Sessions

            Saturday April 7- Topic: Living Easter Everyday! Location: CFL

            Saturday May 5- Topic: People of Spirit! Location: CFL

            Sunday June 3- Participation in St. Mary’s Eucharistic Procession!

 

Faith in the Family

In the Easter Gospel we hear about how the disciples found the tomb empty three days after Jesus' death. We are also told that they do not yet understand the Scriptures or that Jesus had been raised from the dead. That understanding gradually unfolded for the disciples as they began to experience the risen Lord. Similarly, our understanding of Jesus' Resurrection unfolds for us throughout our lives. In the weeks ahead, we will hear how the first disciples moved from confusion, doubt, and skepticism to faith. Their experience can teach us how we too might receive this gift of faith from God.

Gather your family members and ask them to share what they know about the events that happened in the days after Jesus' crucifixion. Invite your family to imagine that they are among Jesus' first disciples. Read together today's Gospel, John 20:1-9. Reflect together on the Gospel with questions such as these: If you had been among the first disciples who heard that the stone had been removed from Jesus' tomb and that Jesus' body was no longer there, what would you think? What did Mary of Magdala, Simon Peter, and the disciple whom Jesus loved think had happened? Recall that this experience is the first indication Jesus' disciples have that he is risen. Throughout the Easter season, we will learn more about how the disciples came to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

Pray together using today's psalm, Psalm 118: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”

 

Technology and Faith

Knowing that most if not everyone has a smart phone, there are some fantastic and FREE catholic apps. Another great app is the Catholic Mega App. Check it out! It’s a great way of using technology to help us grow in faith. 

 

 

March 3rd Monthly Session @ St. Mary’s Church

    For the children that participated in the Summer Program, the March Monthly Session will be held Saturday, March 3rd, from 5:30-8:00pm at Saint Mary's Church.  We will be starting with the 5:30 Mass and ending with Stations of the Cross. Click on the flyer to see more details.  Sign up for this session here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c084faaa82ca7ff2-family

    Remember, they need to attend five of the nine sessions, and unlike last year the parents do not need to attend. I hope to see all your children there.

    To view the rest of the dates, click here.   If you have any questions, contact Carlo Stebbings at 315-252-3439 or carlo.stebbings@dor.org.

    Thank you and God bless.

    

February 3rd Monthly Session at CFL Sports Center

    For the children that participated in the Summer Program, the February Monthly Session will be held Saturday, February 3rd, from 6-8 pm at Champions for Life Sports Center.  We will be going over another fruit of the Holy Spirit and exploring what embracing that fruit can do in our lives.  The flyer hints at some of what you can expect. 

    Remember, they need to attend five of the nine sessions, and unlike last year the parents do not need to attend. I hope to see all your children there.

    To view the rest of the dates, click here.   If you have any questions, contact Carlo Stebbings at 315-252-3439 or carlo.stebbings@dor.org.

    Thank you and God bless.