St. Alphonsus Parish January 2015
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How about starting off the new year growing closer to God by spending daily time reading the Bible in a wonderful meaningful way?!

This series makes it easy by focusing in on the underlying story that ties the Bible together and makes sense of it all... and you do it at home under your own timeframe... for FREE! 

You will receive a daily e-mail with an introduction to the period or an overview with that day's reading. A single question will help you reflect on what you've read. You can click on the link by the question to share your thoughts with others or to see how they respond.

Just click on the link to find out more & register. 
Beautifully sung...
Veritas - The Lord's Prayer (Official Music Video)
Veritas - The Lord's Prayer

In his book,
Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
sees our liturgy as the practice of mindfullness... "The Word and Eucharist help us to touch what happened in the past, and what was/is our hope. A drastic way to awaken us from forgetfulness. We are aware that we are alive and enjoying dwelling in the present moment. The practice to resurrect those dead in the Spirit so they can touch the Kingdom of life. The priest's role is to bring life to the community. We receive the life of Christ in our body. The miracle is in our eating and drinking in mindfullness... I am the way means to have a true relationship with God, you must practice His way. 'I'  means life itself. The way is Jesus Himself, and not just some idea of him. Be mindful and enjoy being alive and you will help manifest the Living Christ. The way we walk, eat, and work, expresses our insight & joy."  ~ Does this sound familiar?  Pope Francis has provided a similar perspective in his Joy of the Gospel exhortation, and in subsequent talks. So, don't be a "sourpuss" in this coming year!

RE Parent eNewsletter


As they say in India, "Namste!"  I hope that you and your family are having a joy-filled and restful Christmas season!

Mine was joy-filled, but not so restful as my family had an ambitious tour schedule in India to get as much of the "Golden Triangle" sites in as we could in a week. My wife, my 22 yr. old daughter, and I met up with our 20 yr. old daughter as she finished her semester study abroad there. It was an excellent adventure! It was strange, though, not to see a sign of Christmas anywhere until we stayed at a hotel in New Delhi at the end of our trip that catered to westerners. We learned a lot about Hinduism while visiting temples and conversing with our guides and locals whose faith is a very visible part of their lives. During our trip, I read a book entitled, Living Buddha, Living Christ  by Thich Nhat Hanh, that was interesting in how Hahn drew out similarities in the teachings of Buddha and Jesus, and in how we are called to live our lives.  Sometimes you can learn more about, or have a greater appreciation for, your own religion when viewed from the perspective of another faith tradition.

As we start a new year, we essentially look at our lives anew... how we can make improvements and set new goals... particularly from our Catholic faith perspective.  In this issue, I offer some suggestions.   A big event on the Catholic Church's calendar this year is the Synod on the Family  in October, and Pope Francis' first visit to the US for the World Meeting of Families in September in Philadelphia. Francis' visit will make him just the 4th sitting pope to visit America. Over a million people are expected attend Francis' mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A hallmark of his papacy has been a keen focus on the many challenges that families face today globally. I've included some of those in this issue.

It was nice to end our first half of the year seeing parents together with their children during our Family Advent Sessions for Grades 1-6.  The kids seemed to love having their parents there, and parents seemed to appreciate doing something a little different and fun with their children within their faith community. We look forward to the learning and fun to continue into the new year! In January, we will have our parish celebration of First Reconciliation (17th), our 2nd Confirmation liturgical rite (11th) and Confirmation Retreat (18th).  See the January calendar in the left column for the full RE schedule.

A couple of quick reminders:
(1) Progress Reports - please sign and return them to your child's catechist at the session after receiving them. Feel free to contact your child's catechist if you have any questions.
(2) Absences - We went through a rough time with the flu going around, resulting in a number of absences. We ask that parents go over the missed material with their child. Once a child reaches 4 absences, we ask parents to schedule their child for a class on one of the other tracks to make up the valuable class time.
(3) Session Cancellations - In the event of severe weather, check to see if we have cancelled sessions.

Have a blessed New Year!

Kevin Cody, DRE new-year-header5.jpg


Holy Family, Not 50's Family

Holding up family as an ideal is "not the same as holding up Happy Days or Father Knows Best as an ideal toward which all must strive."  and that troublesome  "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands.." reading that we heard last Sunday should be seen in the context of the description of what husbands and children should do.

And what does this mean today in America? We need the freedom to be family as it was intended - to make the choices that support that ideal.  Read what blogger, Brian Gill has to say at A Catholic Citizen in America 


Make The New Year Brighter!                                              by Melissa Ford
Every holiday there's party planning, decorating, card writing, gift purchasing, cookie baking and list-making. There's also muttering to myself that no one helps and I'm stuck doing everything. (Yes, I seem to think that conjuring up dark thoughts will make the holidays brighter.) Finally, when the multitude of negative emotions crescendos, I take a moment to slow down, wondering why the holidays are so hellish?! 
Actually, the holidays have nothing to do with my bad moods; I've simply forgotten I'm playing the I HAVE NO CHOICE game.  

... In my parent coaching practice, I work with many moms and dads who are unaware that their anger, exhaustion, and powerlessness isn't the result of some external situation; it's because they have stripped themselves of choice, which always gives rise to the inability to feel good. 
When I propose the idea to parents that they are always doing what they want, the responses usually aren't positive. "What do you mean, I'm doing what I want?!" they exclaim. "That's not true! You think I like sitting at the kitchen table every night trying to make my kid finish his homework? You know, I other things I'd rather be doing!" 
When we choose to do something, we do it because we want to regardless of whether or not we find it enjoyable.


There were many times when I'd get up in the middle of the night to take care of a child, knowing full well I didn't like the fact it was 3 a.m. Knowing that I was choosing to get up because I wanted to, allowed me to lovingly interact with my child. Coming from this perspective, I could feel better, things were easier and I wasn't a victim of the world around me. 

Choice allowed me to feel good.

As you transition into the new year resolve to consciously exercise your power of choice. It's a guaranteed way to make your new year brighter!


You can read the full version of this article, or many more advice articles by Melissa Ford at Empowered Parenting Solutions 

THANK YOU to Joe Martorano for working with our youngsters to put on our Lessons In Carols recital on Dec. 17th.  And thank you to Brain Sullivan for ably assuming the role of MC.  I hear that our 8th Graders did a great job reading the background on the carols.