Classroom Notes: 2018-2019

CandlemasCandlemas celebration
This year the parish was invited to a celebration of Candlemas.  The feast also goes by the name The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus.  It commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem 40 days after his birth.  Simeon, the Jewish High Priest who awaited the Messiah, held the baby Jesus and proclaimed that he was a revealing light to the Gentiles.  Jesus is the Light of the World.  We too were presented to the church, at our baptism, and told to walk as a child of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in our heart.  Candlemas is a time to renew our efforts to be a light in the world.

 

Preschoolers Praying

Preschool Class Learns How to Pray
Prayer is important in faith formation.  Learning how to pray is taught and practiced many times during classes because there are so many ways to pray.  These youngest students have learned several ways of talking to God.  They speak words of petition and thanksgiving.  They pray the Sign of the Cross as they bless themselves with holy water.  In this picture they are learning another way of praying, with their hands, using American Sign Language.  They have words for praying to God, for thanking God and for giving God praise .  May we have as much joy in our talks with God!

 

Baptismal Blanket and Candle

Sacraments of Initiation
As our students prepare for the initiation sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation this spring, it is good to remember the first sacrament of initiation, Baptism.  Our parish has just welcomed a new Christian, using symbols of water, sacred oils, a candle lit from the Easter candle, and a stainless white garment.  We have all professed our beliefs of the Catholic faith and pledged our support to the newly baptized.   The support of the parish as the people of God must continue as the initiated mature in faith.  Please pray for all our children, and in a special way, pray for those preparing for the next steps of initiation.

 

Studying the Seven Sacraments

Studying the Sacraments

The 7th and 8th grade class has been studying the sacraments. A sacrament is a visible sign of inward grace. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are divided into three categories: Initiation, Healing, and Service. They were instituted by Jesus Christ. Recently, the class scoured the New Testament, seeking and finding references to all seven sacraments. It was a chance for the students to ponder the life-changing effect of a sacrament, and to remind themselves that the blessings of two of the sacraments (Reconciliation and the Eucharist) which may be celebrated over and over again. These are great gifts!

Creche at St. Therese

Creche

The families of the Christian Formation program gathered together around the creche on the last day of class before Christmas.  They joined in singing and praising God.  They received a special blessing to help them to let Christ fill their hearts with love. St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary are models of parental love.  The baby Jesus is love itself.  We are wise to keep these visual reminders in a prominent place in our homes

 

 

2nd and 3rd Grade Handmade Nativity ScenesHandmade Nativity Scenes

The 2nd and 3rd grade students, under the direction of Sr. Marilyn, have fully immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas. They studied the Nativity story and prepared their own creche.  These scenes remind them and their families of the true Christmas meaning amid the busyness of the holiday season.  The art work focuses their thoughts in quiet prayer.

 

 

 

Prayer Trays

Each of the elementary religious education classes has a prayer tray. We invite you to strengthen the church/home connection by doing the same in your home.

A prayer tray can be changed frequently to adapt to the colors of the season or to coordinate with school or team colors. If you are praying about a particular event, add a symbol of that. The members of your household may add symbols to include their prayers of thanks, petition or forgiveness. The prayer tray may be used for communal prayer if kept on the dining table, or for personal prayer on entering and leaving the home.

These ideas are offered as one more way to help you in your most important activity…PRAYING…which is raising your heart and mind to God.