ST. ALPHONSUS RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
   
SACRAMENTS:
ONE-WORD-AT-A-TIME
 
NOVEMBER CALENDAR
To access our RE Calendar which includes events for the month of November, click Here

   

FAMILY SESSIONS (Grades 1-6)
 Parents will join their children for an Advent and a Lenten session.  Track A classes will meet in their classrooms, and Tracks B & C will meet in the Church Hall.  Following is the schedule:
Advent

Grades 1 & 2.......... Week of Nov. 30th

Grades 3 & 4 ......... Week of Dec. 7th

Grades 5 & 6 ......... Week of Dec. 14th 
Lent

Grades 1 & 2 .......... Week of March 8th

Grades 3 & 4 .......... Week of March 22nd

Grades 5 & 6 .......... Week of March 29th 

 
MEET OUR NEW ARCHBISHOP

Everyone I've talked to who has met Bishop Cupich has had a very good first impression... down-to-earth, really listens, seems to share the same spirit as Pope Francis, etc. Archbishop Cupich, currently the bishop of Spokane, Washington, will be installed as Archbishop of Chicago Nov. 18, succeeding the retiring Cardinal Francis George.

Bishop Cupich views his style as that of a "pastor" ...
"The main role of pastors is to keep people together... I want to make sure that whatever we do as a church resounds to the benefit of society."   

 

Learn more about Bishop Cupich in his interview with Catholic News Service. 
FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

During the month of November, we remember loved ones who have gone before us. For many of us, we are still making our way through the grieving process. Sometimes it helps to have someone who has been there guide us through it. In her blog, I Am So Lost, Patti Fitzgerald, a grief support facilitator, helps people to move forward so that they can be happy again. She contends that you can feel happy again by making an intentional decision to work on your grief-feel your feelings, express them and tell your story.

  

PRIEST DANCE-OFF
American Priests' Rome Dance-Off Video Goes Viral | Priests In Dance-Off Become Web Sensation
American Priests' Rome Dance-Off Video Goes Viral | Priests In Dance-Off Become Web Sensation
 
NEW CATHOLIC WEBSITE
 
 
A recently released website called 'Crux' aims to provide an online space for both Catholics and non-Catholics to sound off on issues related to the faith.

 

The Boston Globe Media initiative looks at Catholicism from a modern perspective by sharing news straight from the Vatican. It also details the stories of Catholics and their roles in events happening around the globe, thus attempting to interpret the role that Catholicism plays in our world today.

Because it is not backed by the Church or sponsored by a religious group, the media group believes that it can be "close enough to the story to get it right, but far enough away to be objective."
Thus far, it has had some very good articles.  Particularly on Pope Francis and the recent extraordinary synod on the family. 
PHOTOS
 
 
November Parent eNewsletter
Greetings!
 
We are off to a good start! We have a good group of catechists who report that they have good kids who are eager to learn. They will be learning more about the special holy days and seasons coming up... Halloween, All Saints Day, All Soul's Day, Thanksgiving, the beginning of Advent, etc. This issue contains some resources you can use related to them as well. 

You, no doubt, have heard coverage of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family over the past few weeks with headlines such as,"The Church makes dramatic turnaround in it's teaching on homosexuality, divorce, cohabitation," etc. 
Then... "The Church backs off on revolutionary changes."

The fact is, the interim report that came out of the Synod is not even close to a definitive, formal teaching of the Catholic Church. It is a report on what has been discussed so far in a synod of some two hundred bishops from around the world. It conveys, to be sure, a certain consensus around major themes, trends that have been evident in the conversations, dominant emphases in the debates, etc., but it decidedly does not represent "the teaching" of the Pope or the bishops. Sometimes efforts to be transparent can be problematic. There were no such interim reports during Vatican II.  And there was as much, if not more, in-fighting going on. Since the interim report came out, Pope Francis wrote his post-synodal exhortation summing up the entire process and offering his take on the matter. There will be more discussions and refinements that will be taking place over the next 12 months until the Ordinary Synod on the Family takes place next year.
  
Pope Francis tells families that joy is where love is, and that authentic love comes from Jesus. Your home is the best place for your child to experience love. The love that parents express to their children helps them to understand the love of God.

Take a quiet minute with your child at the end of the day, before bedtime, and offer an Our Father for the bishops who help guide our families in the Catholic faith.

We look forward to our first Family Sessions during RE with our 1st & 2nd Graders during the week of Nov. 30th. 
 

God bless you and your family 

  
 Kevin J. Cody, DRE 
Pope Francis' Joy of the Gospel... Evangelization 
What does it mean at St. Alphonsus? 
  St. Alphonsus Church

Once the joy of the Lord is renewed in each individual, what does Pope Francis say about the Church's missionary call? "Evangelization takes place in obedience to the missionary mandate of Jesus: 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching then to observe all that I have commanded you." (Mt 28:19-20) (#19) This sends believers to all nations, in all situations, to all peoples and this can seem problematic in the current world. But that is what makes an evangelizing community.

            If St. Alphonsus chooses to become an actively evangelizing community the Pope offers a helpful picture. "An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people's daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others....An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be." (#24)

            While this sounds both difficult and yet attractive, each community must look at what is needed to become such a community. Again, the document instructs wisely, "The parish is not an outdated institution precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and community...We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring then nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented." (#28)

            So the Pope calls for each faith community to have a missionary impulse. How does that happen within a community? Is some effort needed collectively and some individually? Something to think about!

"To make this missionary impulse ever more focused, generous and fruitful, I encourage each particular Church to undertake a resolute process of discernment, purification and reform." (#30)

            A process of discernment, purification and reform would be challenging. Is it something St. Alphonsus should consider?

   
            ~ Doreen Dabney 
SHOP & SHARE VENDOR FAIR
  Saturday, November 15th
10:00am - 1:00pm 
RE Building 
   
If you have a product to sell, you could be one of our vendors at this fundraising event. A table fee, a donation of an item for a gift basket, and a small percentage of sales will go to the Catechist Appreciation Fund. This is a great way to make connections for your business within the St. Alphonsus community. Contact the RE Office for further details.  

This is also a great opportunity for shoppers to pick up some unique Christmas gifts while contributing to the businesses of fellow parish members. 
Last year's vendors included Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, Premiere Designs, Thirty-One, Cookie Lee Jewelry, Ribbons, and Mary Kay Cosmetics.