Family Formation Updates

St. Lawrence Church

September 7, 2021

Dear Families,


It's hard to believe we're at the beginning of the school year already! With the turn of a calendar page, it's what I refer to as "the calm before the storm!" When we had three school-aged children, my husband and I became like that song, "Strangers in the Night," by Frank Sinatra, seeing each other only in between shuttling children to and from sports practices and games, doctor visits, music lessons and other various events before and after school. I had forgotten what the inside of our house looked like! We were ready to hire a full-time secretary just to respond to all the weekly communications, newsletters and field trip permission slips sent home for our three children. Now that they're all in college and the hectic pace has (almost) slowed down, we're trying to remember what updates we were going to do to the house, now that we have a couple of minutes to sit and look at it! Anyhow, I thought I'd pass this funny picture on to you-of two moms who seem to be excited about the first day back to school. Reminds me of myself-and my own mother! Humor aside, we know that summer is such a needed break for families, to relax and just be with each other. In our modern times, we never get enough time together during the year, it seems. My prayer for all families this year is for God to help you find more moments to be together as a family.


Below are updates regarding our monthly family formation, homeschooling, and sacramental preparation programs. Never hesitate to contact either Debbie (debbie.cichelli@dor.org) or myself (melissa.mang@dor.org) or by phone: (585) 225-7320 with any questions or concerns.


In closing, I'm passing on this beautiful prayer (Loyola Press) for families as we begin another year of faith formation together.


Prayers for all of God's blessings, now and throughout the new school year!


Debbie and Melissa


God, Our Father, loving and merciful, bring together and keep all families in perfect unity of love and mutual support.

Instill in each member the spirit of understanding and affection for each other.

Keep quarrels and bitterness far from them, and for their occasional failures instill forgiveness and peace.

May the mutual love and affection of parents set a good example.

Instill in children self-respect that they may respect others and grow in mature independence.

May the mutual affection and respect of families be a sign of Christian life here and hereafter, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Amen.

CASE Summer Newsletter

Parents, in case you haven't had the chance to read the current summer diocesan CASE newsletter, read it here: CASE-SUMMER. As soon as the fall CASE newsletter is available, I will pass it on to you.


In addition, parents are strongly encouraged to read the parent brochure on sexual abuse and discuss with their children using age-appropriate language about sexual abuse: Talking to Your Children About Sexual Abuse. Do not put this conversation off!

Sunday Family Formation Program: September Through May

Family Formation

Did you know parental influence on the transmission of the faith of their children is the single-most determining factor on whether or not their children remain practicing Catholics throughout their young adult/adulthood years? John Roberto, director of Lifelong Faith Formation Ministries, details this outcome in his 2016 book: Families at the Center of Faith Formation. The research is in: all studies indicate that consistent parental engagement in the faith with children determines whether or not children remain practicing Catholics into adulthood. "Thus parents represent not simply an influence on the development of children’s religious worldviews, but the arch-influence over it. Their efforts at religious formation are capable of overcoming the many cultural currents which flow in the direction of the secular. Parents and the family are the most important religious influence on religious transmission." (Roberto, John. Families at the Center of Faith Formation. 2016.

Accessed 7 Sep. 2021.https://www.lifelongfaith.com/uploads/5/1/6/4/5164069/families_at_the_center_of_faith_formation.pdf).


For this reason, we are excited to announce our first Sunday Family Formation meeting is Sunday, September 12th, 1-2:30pm, in the main room in Deacon Hall. At least one parent is required to attend these monthly meetings with his/her child(ren). However, if a parent is not able to attend, any other adult may attend in his/her place. If no adult is able to attend with your child, or you will be absent altogether, contact Debbie at debbie.cichelli@dor.org to let her know so that all materials can be sent to you in your absence. We are using Flocknote for communication with our Sunday family formation program. If this happens, look for a note from Flocknote. Thanks for your help!


Fr. Chase, our pastor, will begin with an opening prayer and words of encouragement to families as they begin this exciting family-based program.


Lunch will be provided-no need to eat before you come. We'll have pizza and drinks ready when you arrive at 1pm!


During this time, families will meet one another and learn about the program. Each family will receive a tote bag containing all resources needed for the year.


We look forward to joining you next Sunday!

Preparation for the Sacrament of First Penance

For Children in grades 2 and up

Baptized children in Grade 2 or higher, who are participating in their second year of Religion, either in a Catholic school or in a parish program, are invited to begin preparation for the Sacrament of First Penance. Please note: due to diocesan guidelines, children are required to receive the Sacrament of First Penance before they can prepare for the Sacrament of First Communion. Below you will find registration information as well as the link to online sign-up for the Sacrament of First Penance/Reconciliation.


The Sacrament of First Penance and Reconciliation, of God’s loving forgiveness, will be celebrated within the season of Advent on the following Saturdays, 2-2:30pm, (choose one): 11/27, 12/4, 12/11 and 12/18. Parent informational meetings begin on two dates (choose one): October 6th, 7-7:30pm at Deacon Hall; and October 7th, 7-7:30pm at Deacon Hall.


Registration for preparation classes for both the Sacrament of First Penance and First Communion is a two-step process.


First, complete the registration form below and return to us with your $50 by September 20, 2021.(Only one form needed to register for both First Penance and First Communion.)This fee covers the cost of materials for both the Sacrament of First Penance and First Communion for each student. Our preparation schedule for First Penance and First Holy Communion is included with this letter, as well.


Second, in addition to completing/returning the registration form (below), you must also choose which classes your child/you will be attending this year. Since we have a large number of children receiving the sacraments this year, we are offering two different dates/times for most sessions to accommodate all our families. Sign-up for these dates is available online at two different links. Please visit these links to choose dates/times that are convenient for your families. No need to register all family members online, only the child(ren) preparing for the sacraments.


To choose First Penance classes, visit: https://signup.com/go/isOzRge

Preparation for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion

For children in grades 2 and up

Baptized children in Grade 2 or higher, who are participating in their second year of Religion, either in a Catholic school or in a parish program, and have received the Sacrament of First Penance, are invited to begin preparation for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion.


The Sacrament of First Holy Communion, where children will be invited to the Lord’s table for the first time to receive Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, will be celebrated in May within the season of Easter, on the following dates/times: Sun., May 1, 8am; Sun., May 1, 10am; Sat., May 7, 4pm; Sat., May 14, 4pm; Sun., May 15, 8am; and

Sun., May 16, 10am.


Parent/child information meetings begin on two dates (choose one): February 1st, 6:30-7pm and February 2nd, 6:30-7pm at Deacon Hall.


Registration for preparation classes for both the Sacrament of First Penance and First Communion is a two-step process.


First, complete the registration form below (only one form needed to register for both First Penance and First Communion) and return to us with your $50 by September 20, 2021. This fee covers the cost of materials for both the Sacrament of First Penance and First Communion for each student. Our preparation schedule for First Penance and First Holy Communion is included with this letter, as well.


Second, in addition to completing/returning the registration form (see below), you must also choose which classes your child/you will be attending this year. Since we have a large number of children receiving the sacraments this year, we are offering two different dates/times for most sessions to accommodate all our families. Sign-up for these dates is available online at two different links. Please visit these links to choose dates/times that are convenient for your families. No need to register all family members online, only the child(ren) preparing for the sacraments.


To choose First Holy Communion classes, visit: https://signup.com/go/vhVVxSQ

Home School

For children in grades 1-7

This year, we have 38 children across all grade levels (Grades 1-7) enrolled in the program.


Each student workbook in the Be My Disciples series (for Grades 1-6)and Blest Are We (for Grade 7) is separated into six units, with four chapter lessons in each unit. There are twenty-four chapters altogether, plus an additional thirty pages describing our liturgical cycle, that each homeschooling student will complete by the end of May 2022. Workbooks must be completed and turned into the religious education office by the end of May 2022 in order to ensure your child's credit for completing his/her catechetical year.


Here are some tips on making the most of your homeschooling experience this year (September through May):


-Create a "study schedule" so that the work is able to be completed at a comfortable pace.


-Attend monthly Zoom meetings (required) as a "check in." I will be holding Zoom meetings with students by grade levels each month this year from September to May. These will occur the last week of every month (except for December when we meet a different date), and each grade is assigned a day/time. See the attached schedule for your child. Students should try to attend each Zoom meeting as we will review the answers for three chapters at a time each month. Please know that these Zoom meetings are only scheduled for me to catch all children up on their work if they get behind! They are in no way meant to micromanage them! As a busy parent of three young adults myself (they are still at home!), I do know how weeks (and months) fly right by! I want to hold these Zooms in order to keep them all caught up on their work.


-View the videos on our St. Lawrence website: https://www.stlawrencegreeceny.org/relformation.html. Our youth group have carefully and enthusiastically recorded each lesson for almost every grade level. Your child can watch these videos in order to assist them with completing each chapter.


-Contact Melissa at melissa.mang@dor.org or call (585) 225-7520 or Debbie Cichelli: debbie.cichelli@dor.org with any questions. We would be happy to assist you.