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Director of Faith Formation

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1 Director of Faith Formation
Meeting for Parents 2014 January 2014 Good Shepherd Church Margie Meyers Director of Faith Formation ( )

2 Introductions (in small groups) .
Introduce yourself to at least two people that you don’t know well. After introductions, please take a moment to quietly think on the questions. Then you will be invited to share with one or two others Who are you? Where are you from? Who is your son or daughter? What do you remember your own First Communion? When was it? Where was it? How old were you? What did you wear? Who was there? What do you remember learning? Take a minute to quietly remember then you are invited to share your memory with one or two other parents. What are your hopes for your child in this time of preparation and celebration of First Communion? I hope you take this opportunity to meet and get to know some other parents. We travel this journey of faith and life in Community. We are the “the village.” Spend some thought on Question #3. Now is the time to influence what they remember. Do we want them to remember how pretty/handsome they looked or what nice gifts they received? Or what? What do we hope for this time? What do we hope they remember?

3 Parent Meeting Outline
Introductions Prayer/Reflection/Sharing Sacramental Theology A brief refresher on the Sacrament of Eucharist The Family-centered preparation “Ritual Matters” (dvd) Practical information about Parish Celebrations Guide and Materials for Home Preparation for First Communion Overview of Dates and Expectations (Getting used to) The Revised Roman Missal Questions & Comments; Evaluation This is a lot to do in a short time. I’ll get through what I can and if we have time, I will spend a little time on the new revised missal.

4 Q What is a Sacrament? Baltimore Catechism; No. 3, Lesson 13

5 A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.
Q What is a Sacrament? A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Baltimore Catechism; No. 3, Lesson 13 An outward, tangible, concrete sign of God’s grace – God’s loving relationship and constant presence.

6 A Sacrament affects what it signifies.
A sacrament is an ordinary experience that becomes extra-ordinary because God is present with us in a special way in that experience . The moment or experience becomes Sacred. A Sacrament affects what it signifies. A Sacrament opens our eyes, strengthens the bond, deepens our Relationship with God and is an experience of God’s Grace. The world, our lives, are full of sacred moments if we have the eyes and heart to be aware of them.

7 God - the Trinity Jesus Church The Seven Sacraments
These rituals, tangible signs make us aware of the relationship. Give us a human understanding of God’s loving presence and the challenge of discipleship in our lives.

8 Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments
Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments. It is considered the "the source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen Gentium 11). "The other sacraments ...are bound up with the Eucharist and are orientated toward it“ (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324).

9 but NOT “First Eucharist”)
What’s in a name? Communion Eucharist from Greek εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), means"thanksgiving" (“For what are we thankful?”) (“First Communion” but NOT “First Eucharist”)

10 Eucharist in History In the very early church – Christians gathered for a shared meal: “Agape” (Greek for love) They told stories of Jesus, shared faith, words of scripture and broke bread together. This is an old image from the catacombs of an early Christian agape meal. Of course, our Eucharist has roots in the Jewish passover feast. The four loves… Greek words for Love. Agape - Storge – affection Affection (storge, στοργή) is fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance. It is described as the most natural, emotive, and widely diffused of loves: natural in that it is present without coercion; emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity; and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed "valuable" or worthy of love and, as a result, is able to transcend most discriminating factors. Ironically, its strength is also what makes it vulnerable. Affection has the appearance of being "built-in" or "ready made", says Lewis, and as a result people come to expect, even to demand, its presence—irrespective of their behavior and its natural consequences. Philos - Phileo – friendship Phileo is the love between friends. Friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common interest or activity. Lewis explains that true friendships, like the friendship between David and Jonathan in the Bible is almost a lost art. Friendship is a love just like the love between two lovers. Brotherly love Eros – romance Eros (ἔρως) is love in the sense of 'being in love' or loving me. This is distinct from sexuality, which Lewis calls Venus, although he does spend time discussing sexual activity and its spiritual significance in both a pagan and a Christian sense. He identifies Eros as indifferent. It is Venus that desires the sexual aspect of a relationship, while Eros longs for the emotional connection with the other person. Agape – unconditional love Charity (agapē, ἀγάπη) is the love that brings forth caring regardless of circumstance. Lewis recognizes this as the greatest of loves, and sees it as a specifically Christian virtue. The chapter on the subject focuses on the need of subordinating the natural loves to the love of God, who is full of charitable love.

11 An icon of St. Justin – an early father of the church
An icon of St. Justin – an early father of the church. We have some of his writings – Apologies. In them, he describes the primitive celebrations of Eucharist. (around 150ish A.D.)

12 “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in the cities or in the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we said before when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in the like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks has been given and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well-to-do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president who succors the orphans and widows, and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all those who are in need. St. Justin Martyr ( ) And not understand God with human frailty and weakness. Because it is hard for us to forgive some things, I believe it is hard for us to truly understand ultimate forgiveness. God’s extreme mercy and love for us…

13 Early Liturgy St. Justin Martyr – 100-165 AD
Readings are taken from both the Old and New Testaments The president of the assembly gives a homily after the readings The prayers and intercessions are an important part of the liturgy. In the early description Justin mentions that they are concluded with the kiss of peace. The president offers prayers and thanksgiving according to his ability Holy Communion is brought to the sick and the absent. To Justin, the collection for those who are in need seems like an integral part of the Mass. The president – in the 2nd century – would have been a bishop. “President” Presider Only several centuries later do we find the kiss of peace at his current location – in preparation for Holy Communion – and then only in the Roman Rite. “According to his ability” – prayers were not in set formulas and were extemporaneous. Our Roman Missal and Sacramentary came much later. Holy Communion is brought to the sick and the absent. To be a Christian was to partake of the Eucharist whether you could be present for the communal assembly or not It is as if he is saying that you cannot receive Holy Communion without being prepared to give what you can to those in need.

14 The Role of the Family

15 Family as Icon of Trinity
Family is called to be a community of faith, hope and love When a family becomes a community of love – it begins to become an image of the loving communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Learning forgiveness is an important key to a healthy communion – community of love. God’s essence – is Relationship. This is the exact slide that you would have seen before in the Parent meeting for Reconciliation. This image is equally important as we enter more deeply into preparation for the sacrament of Eucharist. We are the image of God. Completely loving – giving- sharing in creation, redemption, inspiration. We are called to live that co-creator role in Family. DOMESTIC CHURCH. Church in the home. Church of the home. In this ancient icon of the trinity – we see they are setting at table – together as family. Our family meals – especially for a child- are the metaphor that can help them better understand the Eucharistic table of communion. Where we break bread in the same tradition as our mystical family – the Church and become the body of Christ as we share it together.

16 “Ritual Matters” (DVD – approx. 10 mins)
Human nature is drawn to ritual. We are drawn to express our deepest joy, sadness, pain, worry, happiness, etc together. This is evidenced by the response to the recent death of Joe Paterno. What would the Olympics be without the opening and closing rituals – I mean ceremonies? Let’s think about the rituals we have in our own lives and how they relate to and help us understand the ritual of the mass.

17 Sacramental Stoles – A Good Shepherd Tradition
If your child was baptized and/or celebrated First Reconciliation here at Good Shepherd, you should already have a stole and you can begin to plan on adding symbols for EUCHARIST. If you need a blank stole – call Margie or the Parish Office to pick one up. Handouts with instructions and some symbol suggestions are available Children wear their stole during the entire First Communion Celebration

18 Eucharist: We Give Thanks and Praise
Your Child’s Book New for 2014 Eucharist: We Give Thanks and Praise Take a few moments to page through and look at the table of contents and Chapter 1 The Catechists will work through SOME of this material in class, but the most important part of the preparation is what is done at home. We ask parents to set aside a time to explore the material with their children. Work through a chapter at a time – 30 – 60 minutes. We hope that every family will make this a priority for the weeks of preparation for First Communion.

19 RCL’s Sacrament Website Click on “Sacraments”
For Children: Church tour Games Fun Reviews Coloring pages For Parents Scripture Stories Mealtime prayers Related activities Reflections Addition Information I strongly encourage you to talk advantage of the supplemental materials on our publisher’s website.

20 Expectations for Readiness 1
Participation in Sunday Mass on a regular basis Ongoing Religious Education/Faith Formation (parish, home or Catholic School) / The most important thing we can do for and with our children is participate in weekend liturgy. Regular attendance at mass is the foundation of everything we’re doing. Eucharist is the “source and summit.” remember. Also – 2nd graders should be participating in adult mass – not leaving the church for children’s liturgy, especially during this time of preparation. Not only is part of the expectation that children participate in FF for the 1st and 2nd grade year, but the expectation is that this formation will continue. Children – all of us, really – continue to grow in our understanding and appreciation of the Sacraments and our church family. Continuing faith formation is crucial to developing the potential for faith that is in God’s plan for each of us!

21 Expectations for Readiness 2
Child is beginning to know the responses and the prayers of the Mass (Our Father, Holy,Holy acclamation, memorial acclamation and the Great Amen) Personal & Family prayer are part of the child’s life including the following traditional prayers: Sign of the Cross Hail Mary The child has a capacity for reverence necessary for sharing in the Eucharistic banquet Hopefully, you pray with your child and, at least some nights you don’t just call out “remember your prayers” as they head off to bed. Take some of the resources Our Father Act of Contrition

22 Expectations for Readiness
The child has a capacity for reverence necessary for sharing in the Eucharistic banquet How do we instill a sense of reverence in our children?

23 Dates to note: First Communion
 Parent Meeting: Jan. 12/Jan HOME PREPARATION (Now through late April/early May) – concurrent with in-class school & parish based PARISH RECONCILIATION CELEBRATION DURING LENT - APRIL 1 RETREAT APRIL : 9:30 – 12:30 First Communion CELEBRATIONS: May 3– 10 am – ONLY GROUP CELEBRATION Rehearsal – (Tentative) Thursday, May 1 Or Family-based/Parish Weekend Mass Option

24 First Communion FAQ Dates? What to wear? Pictures?
You may change your scheduled date – in writing/by , 3 weeks before date What to wear? Sunday best. Boys – dress shirt & tie is preferable (jacket is optional) Girls – Sunday best. White dresses are traditional but not required Pictures? not sure??

25 Liturgical Ministers will be needed for the Parish Celebrations.
Hospitality (older brothers or sisters?) Extraordinary Ministers of Communion Lector/Reader Altar Servers We WELCOME volunteers and they may call the Parish office to sign up.

26 Call 238-0649 or 470-3692 with questions!
Comments? Questions? Please take a few moments to complete the evaluation survey. I take your input seriously and it will affect meetings planned for the future. Call or with questions!

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