The feast of Pentecost is one of our favorite! Did you know that Pentecost is also referred to as the birthday of the church? Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter and also marks the very beginning of the church - when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and they were filled with the gifts of the spirit and left to begin preaching Jesus message!
How can you celebrate at home?
One way is like you would any other birthday - have cake and ice cream - a favorite in our house is to make Pentecost Sundaes to go with cake - you can find the recipe and symbolism here:
What else can you do?
Wear RED - as the official color of Pentecost it's the perfect choice.
Have a fire in your backyard - you might even decide to roast Smores or marshmallows.
Whatever you do be sure to include a prayer asking for the gifts of the Holy Spirit - one of our favorites at home is the prayer from St. Augustine:
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
Check out this video on Pentecost:
Enjoy this beautiful weekend!
Happy Ascension Sunday! Today we celebrate Jesus ascending into heaven, and what a beautiful weekend to celebrate! Spring and maybe summer has arrived in full force, the sunshine and warm weather sure are a nice break from the rain!
If you've been following along you know that we celebrate Easter season in our house with a dessert every Sunday - Ascension Sunday provides a very special treat - Cotton Candy!! Cotton candy reminds us of the clouds in our first reading today
"When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight." (Acts 1:9)
What other treats can you use to remind you of clouds? Marshmallows, popcorn, jello with cool whip - the possibilities are endless! If you have an Ascension Sunday tradition I would love to hear about it!
Check out the video below for a Lego version of today's readings:
The Great Commission (Gospel Reading):
Instead of coloring pages today - get outside!! Just a reminder that our youth "Finding Beauty in God's creation" contest ends this week! This weekend would be a great time to enter! Check out details at this link:
Have a GREAT weekend!
May 18, 2020
Dear Parents of First Communicants:
We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the spring weather that has finally decided to arrive! You may have heard that we have been given permission for public Masses to begin again on May 25th. This is fantastic news as we can now move forward with First Communion! Please know that these decisions were made after prayer and thoughtful consideration of the sanctity of the sacraments, as well as the safety of your child and in compliance with the directives of the local health department.
First Reconciliation will take place on Friday, June 5 from 5-6:30 pm and Saturday June 6 from 7-8:30 pm. You will need to sign up for one of these times to ensure social distancing. Sign-up information is at the bottom of this letter. These will take place in the church. We ask that you enter through the Gathering Space to check in. Face coverings are required. We anticipate having three priests so the evening should move smoothly. We do ask that only parents accompany the child for this sacrament. Included with this letter are some things to refresh your child before their First Reconciliation.
Sadly, we have decided to not move forward with our First Communion retreat this year in order to meet all guidelines. We have instead opted for a “retreat in a box” that you and your child can experience together! One of the blessings we’ve seen abundantly during this time is the opportunity for growth in the domestic church, and this will be no exception! The box will be available when you arrive for First Reconciliation.
Individual First Communion practice and pictures will take place on Wednesday, June 10th from 5:30 – 7:30. You will be given a time when you come to First Reconciliation. These will be staggered so that all 55 children are not present at the same time.
First Communion will be celebrated at one of the following Masses in St. Paul Church:
Saturday, June 13: 10 am or Noon
Saturday, June 20: 10 am
Spanish Mass, June 14: 1 pm
Sign-ups for Mass preference will be taken at First Reconciliation. Please note we will be limited to 15 children per Mass time. Further guidelines will be given to you when you sign up for your Mass time.
To sign up for First Reconciliation, please use this link:
You may also call the parish office between 9 am – Noon or email Jen Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org Times are available in 15-minute increments.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me as Jim Tokarsky, who has so wonderfully lead us this year, will be taking a position at St. Mary’s Vermillion beginning in June.
Thank you for your patience and prayers through this time. We look forward to making this a wonderful celebration for your child and family!
P.S. Check out the First Communion tab above on our page! Lots of resources as you continue to prepare!
Pastoral Associate of Evangelization and Faith Formation
This weeks Gospel begins with Jesus telling the disciples "If you love me you will keep my commandments". What does that mean?
Happy Sunday! In this weeks Gospel we here Jesus proclaim "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!" We see Jesus again teaching the disciples and reminding them that their time with Him was all that they needed to know Him and God the Father, as well as to bring people to faith in Him! We will hear even more about it in next weeks Gospel. Psst also don't forget today is Mother's day!! We honor our mothers, grandmothers, and those in our lives who are spiritual mothers to us!
Check out this video of this week's Gospel:
And here are some activity pages - Have a great Sunday!
Spring is here - hopefully! As I write this we have a freeze warning but the forecast promises sun and warmer weather ahead! Since we are all busy social distancing - what better time than to get outside. Our kids call this adventuring - they love trying to see what new plants and animals they can spot when we are exploring a new trail. There are the neat rocks that get found, the giant sticks that become walking sticks and the smaller sticks that become drum sticks. There are mud puddles, fossils, leaves and bugs. God's creation is so good, and seeing it awaken in the spring is a gift that we are often too busy to see.
So what is the contest? Get OUTSIDE! Look around. Is there something that you see that really stands out to you and shows you the beauty in God's creation? Take a picture of it! Is your family using their time outside to grow closer to God and each other? Take a picture of you enjoying your time! Do you like to make a collection of items you find on outdoors? Do you like to make things out of the pine cones, acorns, sticks, rocks, and flowers you find? You guess it, take a picture!
Submit your pictures on our Facebook page under the contest post OR email them to email@example.com - Make sure to put your name and age! We will award prizes in the following age groups - 3-5, 6-9, 10-12 and Teens. Prizes will be awarded on the May 29th episode of Churchat.
I can't wait to see what you find!
Hello St. Paul Family!!
During the Month of May we celebrate not only the mothers in our life - we spend a month celebrating our Blessed Mother - Mary!! We've spent time learning how to grow our domestic church, and this month is no exception! Check out our ideas to incorporate Mary into your domestic church! Share pics of your Mary gardens, Mary altars, and home May Crowning ceremonies to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Having a Mary garden offers a quiet place to pray, a wonderful focal point for reflection and can also be a visual witness to your friends and neighbors. Outdoor Mary gardens can be as simple or elaborate as you would like. You can include a statue of Mary, a stepping stone with a Marian image or even a garden flag with the image of Mary on it. Then simply fill in your garden with plants of your choosing.
I know at least one person that has fruit bushes planted in their Mary garden! You can also stick with traditional spring flowers like daffodils or tulips. Some flowers that are considered “traditional” are
As an alternative you can have a simple Mary garden in your home! You can create a simple mini Mary garden in your home if you lack space outside! (See example) it would make a great addition to your home prayer space or table during the month of May!
Prayer Space/ Mary Altar for May:
Need some help getting started - check out the tips below:
1. Find a space! It can be anywhere you'd like. Some ideas for spaces - the center of a dining room table, a coffee table, a mantle, a side table. You can also post pictures and notes on a refrigerator, or even your bathroom mirror, endless possibilities!
2. Items for your prayer space. What speaks to you? Art is a great visual way to connect, add a picture, even a printed out one will do, or one a child or grandchild creates. Statues can be used if you have those. A cross or crucifix. A fabric or cloth to mark the area as a special place. Candles. A bible or devotional that you are using. A storybook. The options are endless - it's your space!
3. Liturgical seasons. Once you have a prayer space set adding to it for the liturgical year becomes second nature. Adding different color fabric, prayer cards, blessed salt, plants, flowers. There is much to add!
For the month of May you might consider adding some blue fabric for Mary, Keeping your rosaries on your prayer space to
How do you get a family to pray the rosary??
Start small – start by learning the prayers – do a decade at a time – work from one to two until you can complete an entire rosary. MOVE – pray in the car, on a walk, or if you are at home invite kids to switch positions with each decade of the rosary (stand, sit, kneel). Remember that any rosary you start your guardian angel will help you finish.
Formed.org also has a great lesson on the Rosary for families - find it here: https://watch.formed.org/brother-francis-1/season:1/videos/the-rosary-a-special-way-to-pray
Whew! Lots of info here! Remember building the domestic church is about finding things that fit with your family! The beauty of that is that no 2 experiences of home faith like will be the same and that is wonderful!
Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!
I love the story of Jesus the Good Shepherd, this is the Gospel we see this weekend. Maybe I love it because as my own children have spent time in the atrium setting at church it is one that they also are drawn to, each retelling it in their own way. Or possibly it's because no matter if we are 3 or 37, or 107 we all still have vulnerabilities and need Jesus to be our shepherd, guiding us through the ups and downs of life.
It has been a beautiful weekend, I hope that you have gotten outside to enjoy the sunshine! I'd also love to hear about the ways you are still celebrating Easter in your home! We celebrate each Sunday of Easter with a dessert - this week it's mud pudding!
Check out the Veggietales video below for the parable of the Lost Sheep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu9q01k7q64
And here are a few coloring pages and word searches to print off - Enjoy the SUN while it lasts today!
STAY TUNED tomorrow - we will be announcing a new active KIDS contest, as well as a parish contest. And I will be passing along tons of ways to celebrate our Blessed Mother this month!