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ST. JUNIPERO SERRA PARISH
South Windsor Catholic Community
St. Margaret Mary - St. Francis of Assisi
2017/18 Religious Education
I have recently announced at all Masses (weekend of 8/5, 8/6) that we are transforming, with God’s grace, our Faith Formation Program. We are shifting from a school based model (5 schools, home classes, and over 125 catechists) to an Intergenerational model, which we are calling Whole Parish Catechesis.
Why shift? The shift away from classroom to intergenerational learning is to help us all learn about our faith, grow into a community of faith, and to share our Catholic identity with our young people. It also enables us to meet the needs of active families, and the constraints of a smaller parish staff.
What is Whole Parish Catechesis? It is an innovative thematic approach to lifelong faith formation that has taken us from a “drop off and pick up” program for our students to one that embraces all ages and generations. Whole Parish Catechesis is centered in the events of the church and promotes faith growth at home through prayer and participation in church life.
What will WPC look like? Parish members of all ages will gather in our largest space available, the church hall on the St. Margaret Mary campus. Because of our large numbers we will offer the same monthly, two hour session 4 times a month: usually the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday and the 2nd and 3rd Sunday. This year our program will begin in December and run through May. The specific dates and times are included on the registration form found on this website.
What will happen at each WPC session? During the two hour session we will pray, share a meal which will be provided, a talk (catechesis), an activity, and a dismissal.
What will we do the rest of the month for Religious Education? Each registered family will receive copies of the Pflaum Gospel weeklies to work on as a family, with the parents taking the role of the catechist. The Pflaum Gospel weeklies connect both adults and children to the readings, and themes present in the Mass on Sunday. The Gospel Weeklies are age appropriate and easy to use, since the same theme runs throughout each age level, families with students of various ages can work together. Resources to help you explore the lesson or theme are available on line at http://www.pflaumweeklies.com/catechists-teachers/ just click on the age level you want help in exploring.
Weekly, our goal as a parish family is to come together around the table of the Lord, where we are strengthened and nourished by God’s word and by the Body and Blood of Jesus. Jesus asks us to do this, in memory of Him. Weekly use of the Gospel readers at home, helps the whole community know God in a new way. We are then able to learn and explore the Sunday readings as a Whole Parish Community when we gather monthly.
No program is perfect, be it book, on-line or in a classroom. We become perfect when we all strive to know and learn about our faith. Whole Parish Catechesis gives each of us a chance to learn, explore, and to deepen our faith as we grow into the community of believers Jesus has called us to be.
May God Bless us in this new endeavor.
Peace and all good,