Welcome to Faith Formation at Saint Anthony Church
- The religious education of our youth is extremely important. Foundations must be laid. However, taking personal responsibility for my formation as an adult is essential for the development of an informed, mature and functional spiritual life. It is hoped that all who find a home here at St. Anthony will take their faith formation seriously and take full advantage of both present and developing opportunities.
- Contact Information: Andrea Brown, Director of Youth Formation, email or 203-758-4848, ext. 19
Why my family has one technology free hour every day: https://bit.ly/30ePgTr
Honor your parents: A worksheet for children
Why do you love your parents and how can you help them? https://bit.ly/30cDKrZ
Getting kids excited for Mass
Here are nine easy tips that can give your children or grandchildren a little boost in going to Mass.
- Put on your Sunday best:It’s not every day you get to wear fancy clothes, so going to Mass affords the opportunity to wear that special dress or button up your new shirt and sport those cool shoes. It’s been said, “If you look good, you’ll feel good,” so pulling out a nice outfit for Mass just might spark some positive vibes for heading to church. Reminding your young ones just how lucky (and blessed) they are to be valued guests in the Lord’s house could also give them added encouragement.
- Time together:With the hustle-and-bustle pace of life these days, it can be rare that families spend quality time all together. Attending Mass as a family can show children the importance of taking a break from busy living, while helping strengthen the family bond. Plus, introducing a tradition like a post-Mass meal at a restaurant can certainly give reason for kids to be excited.
- Showing your true colors:Kids who love to get creative and show their artistic talents have many opportunities during a Mass to draw and color, while remaining peacefully quiet so their families and others can enjoy the liturgical celebration. Whether it be a page in the kids’ bulletin or their own coloring books from home, parents and grandparents need only pull out a crayon set to let their young one loose. While they’re diving into their coloring page, you’ll be able to better focus on the Gospel and homily, and possibly get a few extra minutes of quiet prayer after Holy Communion.
- Calling all bookworms:As children grow to develop a full grasp of the vocabulary included in the Bible, many love to explore their ownage-appropriate Bible version to follow along during the Mass. Such an opportunity for reading allows them to learn about various figures and events, such as Noah and the ark, Moses’ encounter with the burning bush, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, and—of course—Jesus Christ and his many parables and miracles.
- Get involved:If you have a child or grandchild who loves volunteer work or craves the stage, helping with part of the celebration could offer a reason to look forward to Mass. Assisting a parent or grandparent in leading Sunday School activities or bringing up offertory gifts, for instance, can provide kids with an added sense of purpose and fulfillment.
- Snack attack:While bribery may not usually be considered a healthy way to convince children into accepting a decision, offering them tasty treats could certainly help persuade them to attend (and pay attention during) church service. Having that promise of a delicious snack afterwards could serve as incentive for little ones leading up to weekly Mass.
- An extra play date:Who better to eat snacks with than a group of friends? Following the celebration, kids of all ages can look forward to getting out of the pews and meeting up with their peers. Reminding youngsters of their friends who will be at Mass can also help parents and grandparents plant a seed of excitement. Whether it’s going outside to chase each other around during a game of tag or heading to the food table for some cookies and juice, children can benefit tremendously from opportunities to grow or create social ties with others.
- Building community:As all churches strive to do, fostering a sense of belonging and support can be so nourishing for families. Children can profit greatly from the strong model of wholesome values shown by adults, while parish initiatives like post-Mass picnics or carnivals can pique kids’ interest and desire to attend celebrations, as well.
- Walking the walk:Children can easily get excited for Mass if their parents and grandparents show the same excitement. While it’s fine to say celebrating faith is important, parents and grandparents must show this by their actions and demeanor. Singing hymns, joining in prayers aloud and having a smile are all easy ways to convey excitement and investment that your children and grandchildren will want to emulate at church. Additionally, saying grace at mealtime, reading Bible stories, watching kid-friendly programs about saints and having bedtime prayers together are also perfect activities that can encourage young ones in their appreciation for God and our faith.
Resources that Address the Social Injustice of Racism
The OEEC has developed a web page devoted to Resources that Address the Social Injustice of Racism. This page is constantly updated, and recently added is a children’s book which was recommended by Archbishop Blair, Everyone Belongs. It reflects on the reality of racism in society through the lens of faith, and was produced by the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development; and Loyola Press.
To see a full list of the resources, click here.
The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry ( NFCYM) is offering a webinar this Wednesday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m. called, How to Talk About Racism, led by Pamela Harris (Diocese of Columbus), Deacon Art Miller (Archdiocese of Hartford), and Greg “Dobie” Moser (Diocese of Cleveland).
Racism is a sin. Like most sins, it’s not easy to name or talk about with others in a group setting. Many people choose not to say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. Silence is not the solution. Silence contributes to the deep pain and suffering of people of color, making reconciliation even more unreachable. How can we have honest, critical, and courageous conversations to move toward healing and restoring the dignity of all people? Join us to learn conversation techniques and receive resources to assist in facilitating these essential conversations with young people, colleagues, friends and family. Let’s take a bold step and explore these questions together with the diverse panel of presenters. To register, click here.
To see more resources compiled by NCYFM, click here.
Click on the photo below to see ongoing photos of our program this year!