Fr. Barron comments on Pope Francis and
Fr. Barron comments on Pope Francis and "The Joy of the Gospel"


In this 9 min. video, Fr. Barron gives his take on what Pope Francis is getting at in Evangelii Gaudium and his recent interviews.
> Pope Francis realizes that we can't lead with doctrine... it degenerates into a debating society. And we can't lead with moral teaching ... it becomes perceived as finger-wagging.
> We must lead with the joy of the Resurrection! After pointing out all of the instances of true joy in the Gospels, Francis asks, "Why shouldn't we enter into the great stream of joy?" If we experience the joy of being a missionary disciple, then everything else will fall in place.
> He wants us to recover the urgency of the Good News.  In the midst of this positive emergency, all differences and internal bickering should be put aside.
> Pope Francis is resetting our priorities as a Church... and hopefully beyond.

To access our RE Calendar which includes events for the month of January, click here.


90-Day Bible ReadingChallenge
If you are looking for New Year's Resolution to enrich your faith life that you can do for a short time on a daily basis, check out The 90-Day Bible Reading Challenge!
A carefully chosen selection of Scripture will be presented each day along with short insightful commentary and a reflection question. This step-by-step plan will bring you through the Bible's 14 narrative books that tell the whole story of Salvation from beginning to end.  By Easter you will have a grasp of the Bible, a better understanding of God's amazing plan and, most importantly, of your role in that plan.
Although it started on January 1st,  you can still Register

For their service project, our 3rd Graders decided to help children who are being treated for cancer over the Christmas holiday in St. Jude Hospital by making it brighter with toys and cards wishing them a Merry Christmas, and telling the children  that they will be praying for them. Our 3rd Graders also watched a video that gave them a tour of St. Jude Hospital through the eyes of a child their age who is a patient. Thank you to Mrs. Christy Edwards for coordinating the project.




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
Time Magazine's Person of the Year.................. Pope Francis
GQ Magazine's Man of the Year .........................Pope Francis
Advocate Magazine's Person of the Year............Pope Francis
Esquire's Best Dressed Man of 2013..................Pope Francis
Cover of The New Yorker"s final issue of 2013...Pope Francis
Most talked about topic on Facebook..................Pope Francis
Most popular baby name in Italy..........................Francesco
You may have noticed that Pope Francis has captured the attention of not only Catholics, but the secular media, people of other faith backgrounds, and even atheists.  In such a short time he has captured the imagination of the world.  Why is that? And why is it that so many have great hope in this new leader of the Catholic Church?  Could it be that he is modeling a humility, simplicity, and lived compassion that the world... frought with conflict, materialism, individualism, etc.... sorely needs?
I encourage you to take a close look at what Pope Francis has to say... both in his words and in his actions.   The best resource for his words... his vision, passion, and advice... is his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).  If you don't have the time to read 220 pages, you can to this 3-page Synthesis of Evangelii Gaudium. This newsletter offers other references to Pope Francis that I hope you find helpful.    
I hope you and your family had an Advent and Christmas season that was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit!
Most of the classes will be receiving their Progress Reports at the next class.  The Progress Reports are intended to provide you with formal feedback on your child's knowledge and social interaction.  There are no grades given, and there is no permanent record of the reports.  If you have any questions or concerns, your child's catechists will be happy to discuss them with you. 
This month our parish will be celebrating the First Reconciliation of our 2nd Graders on the 18th.  Please keep them in your prayers.  Children in Grades 3-8 will be given the opportunity to take part in the sacrament during Lent.
See the calendar link  in the left column for all of our activities in January. 
May your home be warm and faith-filled.
God's peace,
 Kevin J. Cody, DRE 
New Year Resolutions
Pope Francis' Top Ten


  1. Don't gossip
  2. Finish your meals.
  3. Make time for others.
  4. Choose the 'more humble' purchase
  5. Meet the poor in the flesh
  6. Stop judging others
  7. Befriend those who disagree
  8. Make commitments, such as marriage
  9. Make it a habit to 'ask the Lord
  10. Be happy
 For details on this list, click Here 


Bingo for the Seniors

The 8th Graders in the Monday afternoon class created a wonderful afternoon of fun, laughter and conversations with the residents at Alvernia Manor on December 14th!


Catechist-aide, Mrs. Daniella Paulius reported that the students were very engaged, very helpful and polite, and she very proud of them! She thought that it seemed like both young and old had a great time, socialized a lot, learned a lot and got some new insights. There were conversations about history and the residents' lives in the past and now. 


The staff and the residents were very happy and very grateful for all the gifts that the students brought. We had plenty of Bingo prizes and Christmas presents for everybody. Mrs. Paulius believes that our students also got a new perspective of the value of "presence." Thank you to Mrs. Paulius & Miss Katie Kaye for organizing the project!