December 2013



   How can you authentically live out your faith in your daily life? How can you stay aware of the presence of God through challenges and discouragement? This four-week online retreat will help you reflect on Christ's presence with you, right where you are.
Sunday, December 1 through
Thursday, December 26.
Register Here


During the four weeks of the season, the retreat will cover stories in Scripture, in Christian history, in our personal lives, and in media such as books and movies. A special feature this year is the inclusion of weekly writing exercises specific to the season. To participate in the retreat, subscribe to Days of Deepening Friendship blog and join in the discussion in the comments section throughout Advent. The retreat will begin December 2, 2013
Register Here

To access our RE Calendar which incluces events for the month of December, click Here 


Does your child know the story of
St. Nicholas?

December 6 is Saint Nicholas Day.

St. Nicholas shows us how to share God's love with others. At Vibrant Faith At Home, you can read to your child his story, and celebrate his life with some fun activities.


The tradition of the Advent Wreath is a great way for families to prayerfully enter into the season of Advent, and to take a brief moment out of each day as a family to invite Jesus into our hearts and minds. Click on the following links for
Lit for the 2nd Week of Advent
Laughing With God


Don't forget that for parents with children on Track A (Sunday), our 4th Grade room becomes our "Hospitality Suite" for families to kill some time between the end of sessions and the start of the 11:00 Mass by relaxing over coffee, juice, and goodies (up until an hour before Communion).





St. Alphonsus RE Program
Parent eNewsletter
Ours is a holy vocation.

As parents, God has blessed us with the privilege of co-creating with Him. Together with God you have brought forth new life into this beautiful and sacred world. Whether you have many children or one, you have accepted the holy role of parent... and God wishes to accompany you on this graced and often challenging journey.


I know that you are busy with many things, relating to parenting and otherwise. Our lives seem to be busier today thanever. In some ways, perhaps it's just the time we live in. Perhaps there are ways we can strip away some of the noise and clutter and become a bit more centered. (Have you noticed how you have too much stuff and not enough time ... both of which can be barriers to spiritual attentiveness.) Consider what is important in life. The coming Season of Advent provides us an opportunity to reflect and reprioritize.

Advent words include waiting, silence, poverty, darkness... and hope. How contrary these themes are to the incessant messages

we are bombarded with in our society (all the time and especially in the weeks before Christmas) by companies who want our money. All God wants is a relationship. Catholic faith should always be about coming into deepening relationship with our saving God, who is made personal and

accessible through Jesus. Every day is an opportunity to reconnect, recommit and live joyfully in the love of Jesus Christ...and the power of God's Holy Spirit. I invite you to find ways, be they simple or profound, to allow our God to become the center of your life again this Advent... and beyond. This newsletter provides some ways.  In rediscovering (or discovering for the first time) your spiritual grounding in Christ, you will give your children the very best gift possible: a parent who knows and loves God, and lives in right relationship with God and with others and especially family.


Each time I see a couple bringing their profoundly disabled child to Sunday Mass, I am inspired and so very humbled. They are living out their holy vocation, faithful to their beautiful child, faithful to God and to their

community. They come to Mass out of a sense of gratitude for the grace that is in their lives. They come out of a sense that they need God's continuing outpouring of grace to sustain them for the challenges that await.

When Catholic people gather at the Eucharistic liturgy, we obey Jesus' command at the Last Supper. We assemble as community, wounded and sinful, in need of God's mercy. We open ourselves to be fed in Word and in Sacrament, to be loved back to wholeness. We leave nourished and ready to again take on the great mission of the Church... to be the Body

of Christ for one another and for the world!


Come to the Lord this Advent, personally prayerful and communally present, and lead your family on this journey of faith. As family, be a faithful and faith-filled small Christian community that places God first, in all things. Feed on our Lord, Jesus, who invites each of us to take our place at the banquet of grace we call the Mass, and live out your sacred calling as

parent, sustained and accompanied and loved by our God every step of the way.


Come, Emmanuel, be light for our darkness!

Kevin Cody, DRE

Little Tykes for Christ
An event-based faith formation program for Pre-K children


 Join our Epihany - 3 Kings Party
Saturday, January 4th
10:00 - 12:00pm in the RE Building 
Contact the RE Office to register 


Mumford & Sons
Christian Music?

Many who listen to the popular band Mumford & Sons say they hear themes of faith in their music. Yet, Marcus Mumford, the band's lead singer, rejects the label "Christian." Is Mumford & Sons "Christian" music? Listen for yourself.



Mumford & Sons - Babel
Mumford & Sons - Babel


The Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated

from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth." And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth.
And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Christmas is coming, and I'll bet you're starting to get a little nervous. Are you already stressed about the endless gift list (not to mention the prices of those gifts), the lengthening Christmas card list, the overheated stores, the crowded airports, train stations, and bus terminals, and the car getting stuck in the snow?

Sometimes, with all the pressures of our consumerist culture, Christmas seems more like an ordeal than a religious feast.

So how can you move your Christmas from a secular pain-in-the-neck to a time of spiritual consolation? Here are three tips:

1.) Try not to be a perfectionist.
You don't have to send every single friend or family member a card or buy them a gift. Resist the temptation to overburden yourself with a list of "shoulds."  Don't "should" all over yourself this Christmas.

2.) Take time for yourself.
No one's life will be ruined if you miss a party or two, or even a family gathering, in order to have some downtime. Instead, stay home and do something relaxing like listening to a Christmas CD. Pray a little bit. Read a story that reminds you of why you enjoy Christmas, such as Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Or how about John Greenleaf Whittier's lovely poem, "Snowbound"? Or, forget reading or thinking-just relax!

3.) Enjoy Advent.
Ever read the daily Advent readings? They're amazing, filled with beautiful imagery that will revive your drooping spirits. "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom" reads one passage from the Book of Isaiah. You could spend all of Advent thinking about that! Where are the deserts in your life that have bloomed? Which ones need to be watered by prayer and worship?

So Christmas is coming. As the angels said to the shepherds, "Fear not!"


- By Jim Martin S.J.