Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Break

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and an enjoyable break.
Our classes resume on Sunday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 6.

Just looking over the attendance folders, I have noticed that many of the classes that were missed have not yet been made-up.  This break from Religious Ed. is a good time to get caught up with any classes that you may have missed.

If you have not done so already, please have your child make-up the lessons that they have missed when they were absent. If you are unsure of the days that they were absent, you can email me and I will let you know the classes that your child missed.

You can follow this link to the list of grades and click the link to the lesson plan for your child's grade.  Make-up Work

From here, you can find what lesson was covered on the date that your child missed class. Please read the chapter with them and do all of the activities in the chapter and the chapter review.  You can then follow the link to the online chapter review, complete it, print it and bring it with you to the next class and give it to your catechist.  If the link to the chapter review is not working you can go to the website directly and choose the grade and chapter.

BeMyDisciples (Grades 7 & 8) 

Policy on Absences and Attendance

Since, we only meet 26 times during the year, we ask that every effort be made to have your children in class.  We understand that illness, family emergencies, and other situations will come up during the year and your child may need to miss class.  

repeating the grade level during the next year or 
having to do make-up work during the summer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

On behalf of the Priests, Staff, Catechists and Volunteers of St. Mary's Parish

We hope you will join us for Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
December 24th
Christmas Pageant at 4:30pm with our Children's Choir
Christmas Eve Family Mass at 5pm

Christmas Carols begin at 9:30pm
Christmas Eve Mass 10pm

December 25th 
12:00 Noon

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We would like to wish you and your family a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  As we prepare to share a meal with our family and friends, let us be thankful for all of the blessings God has given us.

O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son. Amen.

Just a reminder: There is no Religious Education Class this Sunday, November 30. We will resume classes next Sunday, December 7.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confirmation Program

Our next class is this Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 7-8:30pm

Make-up Class
If you missed our first class on Thursday, October 23, you need to attend the make-up session on Monday, November 24 from 7-8:15pm in the Parish Center. Please respond via email to confirm attendance at the make-up session.

Up Coming Service Opportunities:

Healing Mass
Saturday, November 22 – 11:45am-2:30pm
This Mass is for members of our community who are in need of healing.  Candidates will help usher guests into the church. Following the Mass, they will help guests across the street to the gym and assist in serving them lunch.

Giving Tree Gift Tags
Wednesday, November 26 – 3-5pm
We are in need of help to prepare the gift tags for the Giving Tree and hang them on the tree.

Sorting Food for the Food Pantry
Friday, November 28 at 11am in the Food Pantry in the Parish Center
We need 4 people to help sort food for the pantry and prepare it for those in need.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Bye October, Hello November

I can not believe that this week is our 8th week of classes already. Time is flying by and it has been amazing to see how our students have been growing in knowledge.  At last count, we are blessed to have 430 students in our Religious Education program in Grades K-8. We have 35 wonderful catechists and 16 youth aides, who are sharing of their time and talent to help the children of our parish to grow in knowledge and to grow in God's love.
Our Confirmation Program is also in full swing. Our 53 Candidates, will meet twice a month on Thursday evenings to better understand more about the Holy Spirit and how they are called to be disciples of Christ in today's world.
We ask that you pray for the Holy Spirit to be with all of our students, parents and catechists, that they may be open to where the spirit of God may lead them and that they will open their hearts to receive the peace, joy and love that Jesus has to offer each of us.

Some highlights of October include:
  • 14 students attending our 1st Children's Choir meeting and rehearsal
  • Children's Liturgy of the Word is growing each week as more and more young people join us to hear God's Word
  • Our Family Gathering Event, where more than 50 children and their families attended and made over 70 autumn wreaths for the senior residents of Nutley
  • Our 2nd Grade students going on a field trip to see our church and chapel and to learn more about what happens at Mass
  • Our Confirmation Rite of Welcoming Mass on Sunday, October 26, where each candidate received their own Bible, signifying that they are ready and open to receive God’s Word and to share the Good News with the world.  
Coming up in the next few weeks:
No Religious Education Classes on Tuesday, November 4. We will be closed for Election Day.
Please pray for our leaders that they may turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance as they do their best to work for a more peaceful world.

Confirmation Class on Thursday, November 13th and Thursday November 20th from 7:00-8:30pm.

Family Gathering Event on Sunday, November 16 following the 10:30am Mass
We will create Thanksgiving Day cards for the homebound members of our parish and for the senior residents of the town. We will have treats for all to enjoy.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Join us for some fun this Sunday!!!

We hope you can join us on Sunday, October 19 after the 10:30am Mass for our next Family Gathering Event. We will be designing some Fall and Halloween decorations for the senior residents of Nutley. There will be donuts, cider,  hot chocolate and coffee available for all to enjoy!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sacrament of Confirmation

We will begin our program with a Parent and Candidate Meeting on Thursday, October 9 at 7:30pm in the Church

During this time we will talk about the Sacrament of Confirmation and provide you with the details of the program. 

At the 2013 World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis put forth this challenge:

Jesus is calling you to be a disciple with a mission!
Today, in the light of the word of God that we have heard, 
what is the Lord saying to us? 
Three simple ideas: Go, do not be afraid, and serve.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation will focus on helping our teens to build a relationship with Jesus and helping them to grow into a people of faith who live and carry the Good News of Christ throughout their life. Through our class times, service opportunities, youth ministry nights, prayer services and retreat, we hope to provide them with the opportunity to develop a lasting relationship with Jesus which calls them to live as "disciples with a mission."

If you have not yet sent in your Confirmation registration, please bring it with you to the meeting.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Take a few minutes to watch this video about St. Francis with your family. 
Share it with someone who you think could use a laugh and some inspiration.

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is October 4.  As the patron saint of animals, St. Francis had a special connection to these creations of God, the Father.
Fr. Rich will give a special Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 4 at 1pm on the steps of the Church. So, pack up Fluffy and put a leash on Spike and bring over your pets to be blessed.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Joyful Noise Children's Choir

We will have our first meeting for the Children's Choir this Sunday. 
Children in Grades 4-8, who are interested in singing are invited to come with their Parents at 9:00am (during Religious Ed class) to the Chapel located in the Parish Center, where you will meet with Bruce Mauro, our Music Director. 

The children will be dismissed from rehearsal to class at 9:30am.  There will be a brief presentation and Q & A with the parents as well as an exchange of pertinent contact information.

The schedule for this Sunday is as follows:

9:00 a.m.       Parent and child come to chapel
9 - 9:30 a.m.  Children dismissed to Religious Education
9:30 - 9:45     Parents' meeting

***  The rehearsal scheduled for Monday, Oct. 6th has been changed to Tuesday Oct. 7th from 3:45 -4:45.  The other two Monday dates will be discussed at the parent meeting.

He who sings prays twice. 
St. Augustine of Hippo

Monday, September 29, 2014

First Penance Parent Meeting

Important Dates for First Reconciliation

Parent Meeting – Monday, September 29th at 7pm in St. Mary’s Church
We ask that at least one parent attend this meeting. We will be discussing the details of both sacraments and the date your child will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. The Reconciliation preparation books will also be distributed.

Parent and Student Preparation Class: Sunday, November 23 at 9:00am
                                                                   Tuesday, December 2 at 3:45pm

Celebration of First Reconciliation - Saturday, December 6 at 11am

If you have not yet handed in the registration form for the 1st Penance/1st Communion Program, please click on the link below to download the form and bring it with you to the meeting tonight.

1st Penance/1st Holy Communion Registration Form

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday CCD Classes cancelled -- Join us for the Ministry Fair

Dear Religious Education Families,

 The Phoenix Center has closed the school building for this weekend. The link to view the letter of explanation from the Phoenix Center for this closing is listed below.

As a result, there will be no religious education classes this Sunday, September 28.

However, there will be classes on Tuesday, September 30.  Sunday Classes will resume on Sunday, October 5.

Even though there are no classes on Sunday, we hope you will attend either the 9:00am Mass or the 10:30am Mass, where we will have the Children’s Liturgy of the Word during both Masses.

Following each Mass, we will be having our Ministry Fair in Monsignor Walsh Hall below the Church.  The Fair will have a breakfast cafe with coffee and food for all and there will be giveaways and raffles after each Mass!

We will also have a Kid's Corner with games and crafts for children!
All of our ministries will be on display, so you can learn more about what our parish has to offer. Information for one of our new ministries, The Children's Choir will be available. 
We look forward to seeing you at Mass on Sunday and thank you for your patience and understanding!
God Bless,

Anthony Armando and the Religious Education Team

Click the link to view the letter from the Phoenix Center:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prayer to Begin a New School Year

God of wisdom and might,
we praise you for the wonder of our being,
for mind, body and spirit.
Be with our children as they begin
a new school year.
Bless them and their teachers and staff.

Give them strength and grace as their bodies grow;

wisdom and knowledge to their minds
as they search for understanding;

and peace and joy in their hearts.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Classes begin Sunday, September 14 & Tuesday, September 16

Greetings Parents and Students,

Welcome to a new year of Religious Education! I hope that you have had a restful and relaxing summer. We are very excited to begin this year and are looking forward to growing in faith and knowledge together. 

As parents, you are called to be the first catechists of your child. Religious Education is the continuation of what he/she has already learned from you and your family. Our priests, staff, catechists, and volunteers are here to support you and to help further develop the faith of your child. We ask you to please let us know how we can better serve you and your family and we in turn ask that you reinforce the lessons learned in class. This can easily be done over breakfast after class or Mass on Sundays or during dinnertime after class on Tuesday. You and your child may also find it helpful to review the previous lessons together. However, the best way to help them truly learn about how to live their faith is by modeling it for them. Going to Mass as a family, living out the commandments, and sharing your time, talent, and treasure allows not only your faith to grow, but allows your children to see what it means to be a true disciple of Christ.

We pray that this year will be enriching for both your child and your entire family.
We look forward to working with you and your children this term. 

God bless you and your family!

First Day of Class
The first day of classes can be a little hectic, so to help minimize any confusion, we ask that you try to have your children at the school building by 8:40am on Sunday and 3:30pm on Tuesday. Upon arrival you will see tables set-up where you can check in and find your child’s class and room number.

Invitation to Parents
On the first day of classes, we extend a warm welcome and strongly encourage a parent to stay for the beginning of class. This will give you an opportunity to meet your child’s catechist and share any information with them about how to better serve your child. 
After your child is settled into their class, we invite you to stay for some light refreshments and to mingle with the other parents and our parish priests.  We will then gather with your children and catechists for an opening prayer service. Together, we will kick off the year in a positive way and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance during this school year.  Classes will then be dismissed at their normal times.
If you are unable to stay for the entire first class, please come back and join us for the opening prayer service and kick-off:
Sunday, September 14 at 9:40am in Walsh Hall or Tuesday, September 16 at 4:30pm in the Church.

Catechetical Sunday
We will be celebrating Catechetical Sunday on Sunday, September 21 during the 10:30am Mass in the Church. We invite all students, parents, and catechists to attend this Mass to pray for the upcoming school year and for our dedicated catechists and volunteers.

About the Calendar
Please look over the calendar for the year and note the dates on your family calendars at home. Attendance at each class is very important. We only meet 26 times during the year, so we ask that every effort be made to have your children in class.  Because of the way the school year works this year, we will be ending class on Sunday, March 29 & Tuesday, April 7, 2015. 

New Policy on Absences and Attendance
Since, we only meet 26 times during the year, we ask that every effort be made to have your children in class.  We understand that illness, family emergencies, and other situations will come up during the year and your child may need to miss class.  

repeating the grade level during the next year or having to do make-up work during the summer.

If your child needs to miss class due to illness or another situation, we ask that you please follow these steps.
1.     Email the Religious Education office:
2.     Visit the Religious Education Website
to see the lesson that was covered on the date that your child was absent. The Lesson Plans for each grade level are listed in the column on the right side of the page.
3.     Have your child read and complete all of the activities in the Chapter.
4.     Go to the online Chapter review on the Sadlier (Grades 1-6) or BeMyDisciples (Grades 7 & 8) website, (the link to the chapter review is included on the Lesson Plan) and have your child complete the review.
Note: You can retake the review until you get all the correct answers.
5.     Print the review and hand it in to the catechist upon returning to class.