January Faith Formation Update

Hello Families,                                         

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Every year at this time, many people make New Year's resolutions. Some people do a great job of sticking to the goal, and some lose focus after only a couple weeks. The American Psychological Association gives 5 tips to make a resolution stick: 1) Start Small, 2) Change one thing at a time. 3) Talk about it, 4) Don't beat yourself up, and 5) Ask for Support.

I want to invite you to join me in making a resolution to strengthen our families. To spend a year focusing on all the dynamics of family relationships and supporting one another during the tough and joyful moments of family life. We will use the 5 tips by the APA to make this a resolution we will keep.

Pope Francis said in his general audience on December 17, 2014:

"The Son of God chose to be born into a human family, in an obscure town on the periphery of the Roman Empire. Although the Gospels tell us little about the first thirty years of his life, we can imagine that Jesus led a very "normal" family life. He was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, he learned words and example of Mary and Joseph, and he grew in wisdom, age and grace (Luke 2:52). In imitation of the Holy Family, every Christian family must make a place for Jesus in its home. For it is through the love of such "normal" families that God's Son quietly comes to dwell among us, bringing salvation to our world…And this is the great mission of the family: to make room for Jesus who is coming, to welcome Jesus in the family, in each member: children, husband, wife, grandparents…Jesus is there. Welcome him there, in order that he grow spiritually in the family."

As we approach the last week of the Christmas season let us welcome Jesus daily into the life of our families. Let us give Christ our hearts on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Jan 6), and rest in our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Jan 13).

 

As we begin this New Year with a resolution to strengthen our families, the Faith Formation office is excited to announce a couple of new initiatives focused on the family. The first is the opening of a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd  Atrium at St Joseph's School for our 3-4-year old children. See below for more information. The second is that we are in the process of scheduling a handful of Practical Parent Conversations to help parents/grandparents talk to their children and grandchildren about the various hot button issues including sex, sexuality, dating, internet safety, and other issues that are important to you. These are not going to be lectures, but a time to briefly hear what the church has to say on an issue and then to talk about the struggles and successes of raising children around the said issue. More information regarding the schedule of topics will be coming shortly. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions of topics that you would like to learn more about or to discuss with other parents. Please let me know.

 

May God bless you and your family in this New Year!

 

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

 

Faith Formation News for January

 

Important News

 

The Faith Formation office is no longer located at Sacred Heart Church. There are two offices to serve your needs: St. Joseph School and St. Mary's Church. The main phone number will stay the same. You can also call St. Mary's or SJS and ask for Faith Formation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.  

 

New Program for 3-4-year old Children

 

I am pleased to announce the start of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). It is a Montessori based faith formation program for 3-4-year-old children. CGS will meet once a week on a Thursday morning in the atrium located at St. Joseph's School. More information will be coming. If you are interested in this program for your pre-school aged child, please contact the Faith Formation Office.

 

 

Mark your Calendars!

(Click the headings to go to our website)

 

Monthly/Summer

No January Monthly Family Gathering!

Our next meeting is Saturday February 2nd.

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

 

FAMILY OF FAITH

Upcoming Large Group Gatherings

Sunday January 20th at 11:00am at St Mary's

 

Sunday and Monday Weekly Programs (K-5th)

We are back to our normal schedule this weekend.

No classes on the 20 and 21st for Martin Luther King Weekend!

 

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

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

6/7- Respond

13/14-The Father

20/21- No Meeting. Martin Luther King Weekend

27/28- Creating a Safe Environment – Parents encouraged to attend!

 

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

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

6- Epiphany Party! 6:00pm-8:00pm, Bring a gift for a white elephant

20- Life

 

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

 

Confirmation

Year 1- January 14 and 28

Year 2- January 13 and 27

Confirmation Service Opportunities

The Knights of Columbus are again serving the poor with their Soup Kitchen. The Soup kitchen is on Tuesdays from 4:30pm-6:30pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall. They serve January, February and March. Contact Jack Baraczek at jackbaraczek@gmail.com if you would like to sign up or if you have questions. 

1st Communion

Orientation and Class #1- Thursday January 24th at 6:30pm OR Saturday January 26 at 8:30am. All classes will take place at St. Joseph School.

2019 Dinner Gatherings

Click here to view the flyer for 2019 New Evangelization Dinner Gatherings.

 

December Faith Formation Update

Happy New Year! Yes, you are reading this correctly. Sunday begins a new church year! The 1st Sunday of Advent begins another year
in the life of the Catholic Church. We are so blessed to be Catholic!

Advent is not Christmas. Although Christmas preparations have begun, and the stores have been decorated for months, and radio stations have been playing nonstop Christmas music, in our Catholic Christian faith we celebrate Advent first and then Christmas.

Advent is such a beautiful time in the life of the Catholic family. There are so many wonderful traditions to help the family journey through the Advent Season. The most recognizable is the Advent Wreath and Advent Calendar. There is also the lesser known, but very engaging Jesse Tree.  And there is a new advent tradition called the Shepherd’s Treasure. It’s like the Elf on the Shelf but with a faith focus. It uses a Shepherd instead of an Elf, and every day as the shepherd moves around there is a scripture verse that is placed with the shepherd. So many great ways for the family to enjoy Advent and make it a real journey to Christmas Day!

As parents and grandparents, we need some quiet time for ourselves so that we can get the most out of Advent. Dynamic Catholic has a daily advent email called The Best Advent Ever. There are advent prayer books and other online advent focused prayer spaces to help adults slow down and engage with the season of Advent. Below are some links to Advent focused prayer options.

Finally, there is a great opportunity for parents to gather with other parents and talk about raising children in the faith at a Parent Dinner Gathering with a talk entitled: Raising Christmas Expectations with a Creche. The FREE dinner and talk are Thursday December 6 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall. See attached flyer for more information! Registration ends on Monday.

Happy Advent!

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

 

Faith Formation News for December

Important News

Starting January 1st, the Faith Formation office will no longer be at Sacred Heart Church. The office is moving to St. Mary’s. There are two offices to serve your needs: St. Joseph School and St. Mary’s. The main phone number will stay the same. You can also call St. Mary’s or SJS and ask for Faith Formation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.  

Mark your Calendars!

Monthly/Summer

Monthly Family Session is Saturday December 1, 4:30pm at St. Mary’s!

Option: Student attends Handle’s Messiah on December 5th at 7:30pm at St. Mary’s, write a 1 paragraph reflection about your experience hearing the Messiah and turn in a program for credit

No January Monthly Family Gathering!

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

FAMLY OF FAITH

Upcoming Large Group Gatherings

Saturday December 1st at 4:30pm at St. Mary’s

Sunday January 20th at 11:00am at St Mary’s

 

Weekly Programs (K-5th)

No Classes on December 23, 24 or 30, 31! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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

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

2/3- Harvest!

9/10-Always Burning!

16/17- Advent Celebration!

22/23 and 30/31- No meetings!

 

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

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

December 9-The Universal Call to Prayer

January 6- Epiphany Party!

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

Confirmation

Year 1- December 3 and 17 at 6:30pm!

Year 2- December 2 and 16 at 6:30pm!

Confirmation Service Opportunities

Dec 8- 1st Penance Retreat; 9:30am-Noon at Sacred Heart- Let Carlo know if you can volunteer.

Dec 16- Cookie and Poinsettia Delivery from Sacred Heart Church. We need people before 10:30am Mass to package the cookies and then after Mass to deliver everything. We also need people to bake the cookies. They can be dropped off on Friday to the parish hall or Saturday or Sunday before Mass

 

Dec 21- St. Alphonsus Church Christmas Decorating; 6:30pm-7:30pm. For more information contact Mary at 315-515-8935

 

1st Penance

Lesson 6 at home.

Retreat on Saturday December 8. 9:30am-noon at Sacred Heart Church

December 15- Reconciliation Day!

1:00pm at Saint Alphonsus Church

2:45pm at Sacred Heart Church meet in church

3:00pm for Saints Mary & Martha at Saint Francis

3:30pm at Saint Mary’s Church

Links to online Advent Activities

USCCB: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/advent/

Dynamic Catholic: https://dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever

Busted Halo: https://bustedhalo.com/

Holy Heroes Advent Adventure:  https://www.holyheroes.com/Holy-Heroes-Advent-Adventure-s/48.htm

November Faith Formation Update

"The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St. Paul warns us that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, "even as others who have no hope … For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven … and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.

The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought "well and religiously concerning the resurrection." It was believed that "they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them" and that "it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven".

Excerpted from Liturgical Meditations, The Sisters of St. Dominic

 

I'm praying for you.

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation

 

Faith Formation News for November

Mark your Calendars!

Monthly/Summer

No Monthly Session in November!

Next Monthly/Family Session is Saturday December 1 starting at 4:30pm at St. Mary's!

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

 

FAMLY OF FAITH

Our November meeting is Sunday November 18th, starting at 11am at St. Mary's church. We will go to the noon mass together!   

 

Weekly Programs (K-5th)

No Classes on Sundays 11th and 25th OR Monday 12th.

 

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

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

 4/5- The Branches!

11/12- No Meeting. Veterans Day Weekend.

18/ 19- Uprooted! and Chosen: How do I know God is real?

25- No Meeting! Happy Thanksgiving!

26- Oxygen!

 

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

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

4- Politics

11- No Meeting. Chosen Session

18-Divine Revelation

25- No Meeting! Happy Thanksgiving!

 

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

Confirmation

Year 1- Retreat, Saturday Nov 3 from 12:30-5:30pm at Holy Family;

   Session 4 Monday Nov 19

Year 2- Sunday November 11th

 

1st Penance

Large Group, Lesson 5 on November 15th or 17th

Lesson 6 at home.

Retreat on Saturday December 8

October Faith Formation Update

Hello Families,                                

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Happy Fall! I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the fall weather.

All our Faith Formation and Sacramental Formation programs have begun. If you know of people who are not registered for Faith Formation or one of our Sacramental formation programs, they can still get in without being too far behind.

October is Pro-Life month, and month of the Holy Rosary.

The church teaches that life is sacred and that we are to support life from conception until natural death. To learn more on what the church teaches about life see the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2258-#2317

Throughout October we will pray for all people with a special focus each week.

1-8: Unborn

8-15: Children and Teens

15-22: Young adults/Adults

22-29- Senior Citizens

The rosary has been very much a part of what it means to be Catholic. But it's more than just a bunch of beads and Hail Mary's. The Rosary is truly a weapon of faith that helps us grow in relationship with Christ and His Blessed Mother, as well as helps us grow in holiness. As a family try praying at least one decade of the rosary each day during the month of October for life (see above). If you can pray an entire rosary as a family, go for it! To learn more about the Rosary go to https://www.rosarycenter.org/

Popular Saint Days in October

1: St. Terese of Lisieux; 4: St. Francis of Assisi; 5: St. Faustina Kowalska;          15- Theresa of Avila; 18- St. Luke; 19- Sts. Isaac Jogues and others

22- St. Pope John Paul II; 28- St. Jude Thaddaeus

 

I'm praying for you.

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation
 

Faith Formation News for October

 

Mark your Calendars!

Monthly/Family Sessions

 

Monthly session is Saturday, October 6, 4:00pm Mass at St Alphonsus followed by a family session from 5:00pm-6:00pm.

***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)

No class on Monday October 8th! Columbus Day!

 

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

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

 

No EDGE on Monday October 8th! Columbus Day!

 

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

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

 

7-Sacraments and Grace (Eucharistic)

14- Evangelization: The Church's Mission

21 and 28 are Year 2 Confirmation evenings

 

SACRAMENTAL FORMATION

Confirmation

Year 1- October 15 and 29

Year 2- October 21 and 28

1st Penance

October 11 at 6:30pm (St. Joseph School) OR October 20 at 8:30am (Sacred Heart)

 

FAMILY OF FAITH

Our first all family gathering is Saturday October 20th at 10:15am at Sacred Heart Church.

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!