Family Faith News
Holy Family Parish
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Family Faith Reminders - "Back-to-School" means "Back-to-Routine!"
As your children return to school this week, we know this means back to studies, school work, and routines. Below are reminders for the upcoming weeks of our Family Faith Program:
- Family Faith Newsletter link to survey questions: Beginning in next week's newsletter, Sunday, September 13, a google link to a survey with questions will be included in each newsletter. As a family, you will have an opportunity to respond to these questions. Please take time with your family to read and reflect on the newsletter, then submit your family response on the google survey by Friday, September 18. Your response will count towards attendance/completion of the activities.
- Attendance at monthly Parent Zoom sessions - Our next scheduled Zoom meetings will be the week of September 20. Deacon Nelson will lead our sessions together. More information and the Zoom link will be included in next week's newsletter.
- Preparation for the Sacraments: The Sacraments of Communion and First Penance (that were supposed to be scheduled in May and August) will begin small group preparation sessions in September, based on family preference. Sacrament of Confirmation and its preparation classes will begin in the winter.
If you have any questions or would like to share your updated email address with us, feel free to contact the parish office. Please check your email, Facebook, and Twitter for important updates!
Mass Readings for September 6: Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Matthew's Gospel Reading, the story of Jesus speaking to his disciples about the confrontational process and dealing with conflict among others may cause us to feel uncomfortable. However, during a time of social unrest, both in Jesus' time and even now, His words lead us on a path to reconciliation and forgiveness.
In reading and explaining this Gospel message to your children, it is best to understand the time of when Jesus was giving this sermon. During this first century, the church was suffering persecution as believers were being targeted as they expressed their faith. Tensions and disputes were on the rise as the church was growing. To address these conflicts, in this sermon, Jesus emphasizes the importance of Christians living together in harmony. While there is concern for the individual, the welfare of the church, the community of faith, is of most importance.
This principle sets us apart, even in today's world. People are often inclined to emphasize individual rights than our responsibilities to each other. In today’s world, it is easy to walk away from relationships quickly. Rather than allowing us to just walk away, Jesus calls us to explore possibilities that might lead to reconciliation. He describes this path as a deliberate, intentional process. He will not let us easily off the hook, but requires us to take the initiative.
Activities for Family
Teaching our Children to be Peacemakers
As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children how to follow in Jesus' ways. From this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus encourages us to use communication, not force, to resolve conflicts.
Below are key principles that we can use to help our children recognize ways to be peacemakers. Also, watch the video following to help your children understand how Jesus spread kindness and love to others, even when he was not accepted by all.
1. Conflict starts in the heart. The choices we make to get our own way are deliberate. We decide whether to be obedient or disobedient, wise or foolish, caring or unloving.
2. Choices have consequences. For good or bad, the choices we make will affect us and others. Conflict is often the consequence of a choice we have made.
3. Wise-way choices are better than my-way choices. Selfishness is not smart and will not lead to happiness. The wise way is to obey authority, make right choices, seek God's ways and respect others.
4. The blame game makes conflict worse. It doesn’t work to point the finger at someone else, cover up one’s own bad choices or make excuses.
5. Conflict is an opportunity. By handling it right we get a chance to glorify God, serve others and become better people. Conflict is not necessarily bad or destructive. Even when conflict is caused by wrong-doing and causes a great deal of stress, it can lead to good. You can use conflict to:
- Glorify God (by trusting, obeying, and imitating him)
- Serve other people (by helping to bear their burdens or by confronting them in love)
- Grow to be like Christ (by confessing wrong and turning from attitudes that promote conflict)
6. The “Five A’s” can resolve conflict. These simple steps will almost always lead to peace.
Children, like adults, can learn to confess their wrongs in a way that demonstrates they are taking full responsibility for their part in a conflict.
- Admit what you did wrong. Include both wrong desires and bad choices.
- Apologize for how your choice affected the other person. Express the sorrow you feel.
- Accept the consequences for your wrongdoing without argument or excuses.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Alter your choice in the future. Think over and plan how you are going to act differently next time.
7. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. By forgiving someone, we are making four promises.
- I promise I will not dwell on what you did wrong. I will think good thoughts about you and do good for you.
- I promise I will not bring up this situation and use it against you.
- I promise I will not talk to others about what you did.
- I promise I will be friends with you again.
8. It is never too late to start doing what’s right. You can always stop doing wrong, then think about a better way and plan how to pursue it.
9. Think before you speak. Or before you act. Or before you confront someone.
10. Respectful communication is more likely to be heard. This includes the words we speak, our tone of voice and our body language (making eye contact and avoiding bad gestures, facial expressions or posture).
Uplift Video of the Week!
Backstreet Boys Parody for Back-to-School!
As children across New Jersey return to school this week, they will be reminded to "keep masks on" and "stay six feet apart!"
The video below takes this famous Backstreet Boys song popular in 1999, and updates it as a 2020 Back to School parody! Although it is not the original Backstreet Boys group singing the lyrics, it can be easily mistaken for this famous band!
Holy Family Parish
- Register online: holyfamilyparishnewbrunswicknj.flocknote.com
- Text holyfamilyforall to 84576 (or 202-765-3441 in Spanish)