"If You Could See Inside People's Hearts"
As the month of October has moved into November, and we have just been energized being sent as "Hearts on a Mission", we continued as a community to contemplate what it means to be missionary disciples. This also requires the need to act with mercy. The prayer service this month focuses on how we treat each other with dignity as if we could walk in their shoes, know what is each other's hearts.
Please continue to go through the materials for this month, but please take time to go through the prayer and reflect in your own prayerful space.
“If You Could See Inside People’s Hearts”
I invite you to open the prayer and use it as a prayerful meditation. The link to the YouTube video is quite powerful (located in the document). Make sure you let it run all the way to the end, the script at the end has an excellent message.
From the prayer, we discussed ways in which we serve others. It was mentioned that providing service opportunities are not just for the youth, but also ways to engage and even lead people to Church. “Service gives people a chance to belong” as someone in the group said. Using the calendar to help with service goes along way to connect secular with sacred. For example, celebrating Veteran’s Day, Advent, Christmas, etc.
Some ways parishes are providing service opportunities for students and parishes include:
- Pancake Breakfast “Pay it Forward” to the next grade level up. Lower grades celebrate the senior class by providing a pancake breakfast for them.
- Baby Shower for Mary in which proceeds go to the “Pregnancy Crisis Center”. Items such as diapers, baby blankets, layette items, etc are collected in all grades.
- Baby Bottle Campaign through “CareNet”. Care Net provides speakers who talk about pro-life choices from personal experiences. They also provide plastic baby bottle “banks”, (kind of like rice bowl), for families to save coins in the bottles. The Bottles are used from the First Week of Advent and collected back in January. Proceeds go to CareNet.
- Birthday Party for Jesus. Parish collects baby items for Evelyn’s House.
- Feast of Immaculate Mary - parishioners donate baby diapers
This year with the “Year of Mercy”, several parishes are lining up activities for Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy for each month. For example, December might be Feed the Hungry & Instruct the Ignorant. I have looked everywhere for a resource where this might already be done, but with no luck. Someone mentioned the diocese has a listing, but I looked and called various offices. There is not anything created by the diocese, but I think it is a great idea to work on and be creative!
Some Year of Mercy Resources:
- (EXCELLENT PACKET!) http://www.crs.org/resource-center/live-mercy-feed-hungry/
- (Nice Slide Presentation) http://www.crs.org/resource-center/corporal-works-mercy-slideshow/
email me or add it to the Collaborative Ideas Document
Youth Ministry and the Eastern Region Events:
Dick Vetere & Cheryl Smith are drafting a proposal to St. John the Evangelist Trustees and Pastoral Council with a vision for using the convent for a gathering center. This center may be used for youth events, retreats, a “Service Watch” program, Youth Leadership programs, and more. The center would be primarily used for St. John’s but with an extended purpose for the entire region with careful planning of events and activities. Dick and Cheryl are looking for concrete examples and ideas for how to use the property for youth, young adult, and more. If you have any suggestions that they can add to the proposal, please contact either of them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Hearts on a Mission was a huge success. There is an article written in the Catholic Sun.
Evening of Musical Reflection: Longing for Hope
Please make sure you register! This is going to be a very special evening with beautiful music lead by Exodus and reflective scripture readings with time to meditate and time to share your faith experiences. Register at
Advent Evening of Musical Reflection
(EAST) Thursday, December 10, 6-8:30pm with "Exodus" musical group.
at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament, Utica, Eastern Region
Other times and places for Advent Reflection:
Advent Afternoon of Reflection: Incarnation the Timeless Gift
(WEST) Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm
with Kathleen Owens
at the Western Region Office of Faith Formation
Advent Morning of Reflection: The Year of Mercy
(NORTH)Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 from 9:30am - noon
with Sr. Kathleen Osbelt, OSF
at the Western Region Office of Faith Formation
WEBINARS ARE BACK!!
By the diocese and for the diocese! Log in with our own talented leaders from around the diocese to learn from their experiences:
Register for one or all of these webinars at faithformationevents.weebly.com
December 9, 3-4pm"Engaging Parents:Educate and Empower" with Phyllis GonzalesJoin us as we take a look at parent/child sacramental preparation sessions. Phylis Gonzales will suggest some ways you can engage parents as primary educators and gain some ideas on helping parents share faith with their children.
January 20, 3-4 pm"The Year of Mercy: A Time for Working Out (Spiritual & Corporal Works of Mercy with Students)" with Madonna HurchlaIt is increasingly important that we encourage our young people to become good stewards within the current culture. Connecting them to the corporal and spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit, coupled with Catholic Social Teachings can
offer them a releavent road map on their faith formation journey.
March 2, from 3-4PM"Prepare, Execute and Celebrate!Yes! You can plan your own Confirmation Retreat!" with Maria KirkIs your Confirmation Retreat boring? The facilitator didn't really engage or present the message your thought your candidates could relate to? Do you ever think, I could have done a better job myself? Well, you can! The focus of this webinar will be how to prepare, execute, and celebrate a Confirmation Retreat that the candidates will enjoy and get something out of as well. Ideas for location, ice breakers, prayer, service projects, dialogue will be presented and discussed. I promise at the end of your retreat the candidates will say, "Wow, that wasn't bad at all!" High praise from a 15 year old!
Our group began last week with a general introduction about the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and reflected on some of the text from the Misericordiae Vultus (Bull of Indiction).
For example, the second paragraph is beautiful. Take a moment yourself to contemplate these words:
“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”
We will continue next Monday, November 23 at 12:30 with a discussion on pages 1- 49 in “The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church” by Pope Francis
Level One Updated Schedule for the Winter and Spring Online Courses.
University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community
Tons of great courses online! The Diocese of Syracuse now has a membership for discounted rates for these courses. Upcoming titles to register for in the next cycle include:
- Cycle 1: January 10 - February 13, 2016
- A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry
- Advanced Catholic Social Teaching
- Autism in Faith Formation (SN 4)
- Bible Basics
- Catholic Beliefs
- Catholic Teaching on Chastity, Family Life, and Human Sexuality Education
- Church History 1
- Collaboration and Community
- Creative Methodologies: ADHD in Parish Life - Pastoral Implications (SN 3)
- Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (SN 1)
- Ecclesiology: Beginnings of the Church
- Ecclesiology: Reframing Church
- Facilitating Adult Learning and Faith Formation (AFL 4)
- Faith and Human Development
- Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation Methodologies (SN 2)
- Images of Jesus
- Introduction to Catechesis
- Introduction to Christian Morality
- Introduction to Liturgy
- Introduction to Practical Morality
- Introduction to Prayer
- Introduction to Scripture
- Introduction to the Sacraments of Initiation
- Marianist Studies: Community
- Marianist Studies: William J. Ferree, SM: Social Justice
- Marianist Studies: Mary, Holy Possibility
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Our Hearts Were Burning
- Pastoral Approach to Culture
- Sacrament of Marriage: A Holy Calling
- Spirituality in Adult Learning and Faith Formation (AFL 6)
- Study of The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)
- Survey of Catholic Doctrine
- Survey of Catholic Social Teaching
- The Parish Nurse as Counsellor and Spiritual Companion
- The Parish Nurse: Facilitating Wholistic Health Through the Lifespan
- Theological Reflection: Key to Connecting Faith and Life
- Vocation, Spirituality and Discipleship of Catechists
Catechetical Leaders’ Directory
The 2015-2016 Directory is ready...finally! I believe I have all the updates.
If you got the hard copy at the meeting, please note on page 3 under St. Mary’s, Clinton, MaryLou’s preferred address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, on page 3, St. Patrick/St. Anthony, Chadwicks, they do have a Youth Minister. Please add Jennifer Clive’s name. No contact information at this time.
And on page 5, the image was cropping off the last bit of information under St. Joseph, Lee Center. Please add RCIA coordinator Paulette Nickerson <email@example.com> and also Youth Minister Nick Pantizis (no contact information at this time).
Click the File below to download and print.
Vibrant Faith - John Roberto
John Roberto met with the diocesan staff on November 10 to tell us about his latest project, Vibrant Faith University. Now, this is not a typical University, but it is an exciting program of courses that are completely hands on with leaders to develop intergenerational programs in your parish. Here is a link to some of the materials about Vibrant Faith University and his latest book.
Book- Reimagining Faith Formation in the 21st Century.
There is no meeting in December due to Advent Evening of Musical Reflection.
January meeting: Thursday, Jan. 7 (6:30-8:30PM) or Friday, Jan, 8 (9:30-11:30AM)
- Scott Rutan from RCL Benziger will present "Differentiated Learning in the Liturgy" which will offer 1credit hour for Level II certification to all present. This presentation was very well received in the Southern Region. Then the meeting will be the second half. Scott will be around to answer questions regarding RCL Benziger products.
- Due to many factors, the two months will be combined as one meeting at the end of February. We will do some brainstorming for collaborative events, getting some ideas. Sharing of what has been happening, what you are planning, etc.