Dear Fellow Parishioners,
I wish you a Happy New Year and ask for God’s blessings and health for you and your families at this challenging time.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has proclaimed 2021 the “Year of St. Joseph.” Raising the Son of God must have been a unique challenge. There is much we can learn from this obedient faith-filled hero.
Pope Francis suggests we use this prayer this year.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Lifelong faith formation has always been the gift and the challenge given to us by Jesus Christ. All of the apostles and disciples of Jesus never finished deepening their relationship and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have many opportunities for deepening our relationship with God. I invite you to consider joining your friends here at Holy Family as we zoom, and, with God’s guidance, perhaps in the summer gather in person.
Each year we have a Parish Mission where we invite a speaker to inspire and challenge us to live as Jesus did. This year Fr. James Marchionda, O.P., will be with us the week of February 21, 2021. Fr. Jim is the Provincial of the Chicago Dominicans. He is a sought-after speaker, musician, liturgist, and scholar. Fr. Jim will speak at all the Masses on February 21st. The Parish Mission will take place on Monday, February 22 through Wednesday, February 23rd. The Mission will be the first week of Lent. This year give a gift to yourself by attending our Mission and inviting your friends to join us. Meeting virtually means anyone from anywhere can join us from the comfort of their home.
There are also on-going adult faith formation opportunities such as:
Bible Study on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. In January, we will be studying the Gospel of Mark. After the three weeks with Mark, we will take a break for our Parish Mission and our Lenten faith sharing groups. After Easter, we will look at the Acts of the Apostles.
Faith & Racial Healing – In a virtual small group of eight to fifteen people, you are invited to learn more deeply about the history of racial injustice in our country and communities of faith. Be inspired and transformed as you read, watch, and discuss the content of this 11-week program designed by JustFaith Ministries. By growing in awareness and taking action, we can each contribute to continue healing of division caused by racial injustice. Register now by visiting holyfamily.org! Sessions begin the week of Jan. 17th.
CAFÉ (Catholic Adult Faith Enrichment) is a comfortable conversation about the Catholic faith and liturgical living in our daily lives. It is focused on deepening the understanding of the Mass. Café grew out of the Education Formation Team’s response to the US Bishops’ document, “Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us.” The goal was to create an easy, inclusive, and welcoming environment to help adults grow as disciples and to the full maturity of Christ. CAFÉ takes place on Zoom the second Tuesday of the month.
Faith Sharing Communities sponsored Let’s Advent Together where we had a little, prayer, at little input, and time to share faith…all in one hour and from the comfort of your home. This Lent we hope to offer a similar experience. We gathered on Sundays, but we are open to having more than one session time for Lent. Ash Wednesday is February 17th and Easter is April 4th.
The Religious Education Congress will happen virtually this year, February 18-21. This is a gathering of the brightest and best speakers of the Church and about 20,000 Catholics. It is the largest gathering of this kind in the United States. If you have considered going, but the distance was too much, this year, all you have to do is drive yourself to your easy chair and gather, learn from, and share with outstanding speakers!
As you can see there are many opportunities at Holy Family over the next few months. Make a New Year’s resolution to be part of something. We need your presence and we hope that we can offer something for you as we all continue to grow in faith and discipleship.
Dawn Ponnet and the Education Formation Team