Over 60 First Holy Communion and Confirmation Candidates along with a parent or sponsor came together to attend the winter session of the Sacrament Saturday Program at Saint Monica’s on February 1st. Our pastor Father Zlock greeted the adults and children, opened the day with a prayer, and then offered a power-point presentation on “new evangelization” as well as an overview of the Catholic/Christian church based on the book, The NEXTChristians by author Gabe Lyons. A copy of the presentation is provided here below.
Following the presentation, parents were asked to discuss practical ways in which they minister to, and try and pass their own faith on to their children. Questions included the following ideas:
- What has worked in YOUR FAMILY?
- What “best practices” have you witnessed elsewhere
- What resources (Blogs & web sites, conferences you’ve attended, books) can you recommend?
Parents were then asked to share their family’s practical formational activities or traditions with those present as a means of enhancing each family’s spirituality and formation in the faith. Some of he suggestions mentioned were as follows:
- Acknowledge that Confirmation is not the end of the faith learning experience.
- Bring children to an outreach in which parents are involved to have child become personally involved
- Show charity to set an example
- Have children perform their own service activity.
- Encourage leadership through faith.
- Have children compose their own personal prayer and share with the rest of the family.
- Teach by example: Let the children see the adults praying.
- Have children compose their own “prayer before meals.”
- Utilize spontaneous prayer before meals.
- Prayer – include the entire family. Have children prayer for all in the world. Make sure that they include themselves.
- Weekly discussion surrounding use of Advent Wreath
- Teach by example: Attend church weekly together as a family.
- Discuss homily and readings immediately after Mass while driving from parish.
Adults then attended sacramental talks from presenters including a Confirmation presentation by Mr. Dennis Mueller, DRE from Saint Richard’s Parish. Deacon Ray Vadino from Saint John Chrysostom Parish spoke to the parents on the topic of First Communion. Ms. Natalie White, a senior at St. Joseph University, shared her experiences as a young missionary and spoke to the Confirmation candidates and parents about the importance of performing service for others.
Meanwhile, the sacrament candidates met with Religious Education catechists to engage in formational activities based on their particular sacrament. The Confirmation candidates were engaged in a game of Jeopardy to review their knowledge of their Catholic faith and the sacrament of Confirmation. The candidates also participated in a Scavenger Hunt in the church.
The First Communion candidates and parents learned about Eucharistic Adoration and crafted a paper monstrance. They also participated in a guided meditation in church, in the presence of the Holy Sacrament. The parents, candidates, presenters, and catechists came together for a snack and social time mid-way through the day’s activities.
The day brought an increased knowledge of the faith and a renewed sense of community. A great day for all involved!