Deacon’s Diary

Deacon Steve Thomas will be adding information periodically in what we’re calling Deacon’s Diary! Check back for updates on upcoming Faith Formation opportunities at Sacred Heart. To contact Deacon Steve, email him at sthomas@sacredheartegf.net or call the Parish Office at 773-0877.

 

Deacons Diary Advent 2018

Dear Friends,

We prepare for everything that is truly important to us in our lives; birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and of course Christmas. Preparing is important if we want to truly enjoy these events. In the season of Advent, we set aside four weeks to prepare for the most important event in the history of the world…the coming of Jesus.

I would encourage all of us to prepare for His coming in a new and exciting way by signing up for the Best Advent Ever, a free email program from Dynamic Catholic. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for more than just Christmas the day… It’s a time to prepare our hearts for Christ, the reason for Christmas day!!!

Jackie and I decided to re-focus on what really matters this advent by signing up to listen together to the 2-3 minute short inspirational videos and practical tips provided by these daily emails. What a blessing it has been for us!!!!! Please join us, and many of your fellow parishioners, in experiencing the best advent ever for free, by signing up at BestAdventEver.com.

It’s never too late to prepare for the Lord. He stands patiently at the doorways of our hearts knocking. This advent, let’s open the door and let Him in.

Blessings, Deacon Steve

 

October 17, 2018

We all know that Jesus invited 12 apostles to journey with him through his adult life. Of those 12 men, scripture seems to indicate that he developed a particularly close relationship with 4 of them, James, John, Peter, and Andrew. Intentional or not, Jesus had just instituted the first “small faith sharing group.” Like all of us, Jesus cultivated relationships with others based on personalities and common interests, and so taking our lead from Jesus, we realize that the most effective way to form others in their faith is thru “small faith sharing groups” growing and learning together.

Over the years, the Church has provided a structure in which parishioners could form these small faith sharing communities, some examples being, study clubs, Bible studies, and Cursillo groups to name a few. Some of these groups were formed 20 years ago and are still active today. What a blessing!

One of the simplest ways to form small faith sharing groups is to set aside time each week with your friends and especially your own family to enjoy a Christian movie, a documentary on the life of a saint, or a lecture series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, right in the comfort of your own home.

As part of our Jubilee year celebration and our commitment to relevant and ongoing adult faith formation, our Parish has purchased a one year subscription to the very popular formed.org, a kind of Catholic/Christian Netflix. Over the next few weeks we will be helping you to get more familiar with this incredible online faith sharing resource.

For those of you who have yet to try it, simply go on line to www.formed.org, set up a personal password, type in our Parish access code which is 8RTJF9, and start growing in your faith! The materials for faith sharing using formed.org are free and endless, but in order for faith to really form, we all must be intentional about saying yes to this great gift!

So this is a summons to all of us to step up our adult faith formation by joining or forming small faith sharing groups within our families and friendships using all of the resources available to us. Faith sharing is life giving to God’s people. Let all of us commit to breathing new life into our Parish this year.

 

Stay blessed,

Deacon Steve

September 25, 2018

Greetings to all!!! I am so excited to journey with you again this year as Sacred Heart’s Adult Faith Formation Coordinator. In the next couple of weeks I will be introducing you to our leadership team who have agreed to work together to make adult faith formation accessible to everyone in our parish.  We are looking forward to partnering with you again this year to make us all better followers of Jesus Christ and His Church.

I would like to personally invite you to a couple of faith formation opportunities that will be ongoing throughout the year. The first is R.C.I.A. You might be wondering …what is it, and why would I be interested in it? It stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. This is the faith formation process that is used to prepare adults for joining the church by taking them through a beautiful and systematic journey of what it means to be Catholic. What you may not know is that it is also available to any adult, churched or un-churched, who simply desires to learn more about the Catholic faith. Talk to anyone who has been through this process at Sacred Heart and I’m sure you will get an endorsement to come join us in learning more about our faith through this great treasure that we call RCIA.  We meet every Tuesday at 6:30p.m. in the school library with classes beginning Tuesday, September 25th, 2018. Contact the Parish Office or Deacon Steve at 218-773-0877 to come join the journey.

The second opportunity is a Parish Bible Study, on the Book of Revelation that I will be leading on Thursday evenings in the gathering space. You do not need to bring anything but your bible. I am going to call this sacred time, “Walking with God.” We will begin this Prayer and Bible Study on Thursday, September 27th at 7:00 pm. No need to sign up, just show up!!!!!!!!

Perhaps most importantly, I am inviting us all this fall, to get involved in a Small Group Faith Sharing Experience. We can accomplish this simply by intentionally including faith sharing moments with those people whom we already meet with regularly on a social basis, or perhaps by re-forming some of the small group from the past that we used to meet with in our Parish, such as ARISE and RENEW.  Faith is formed in our everyday living around friends, family, and yes, fun, perhaps even more than it is formed at Church.

Again, this Liturgical year, at the beginning of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, we will each receive a gift from our Parish, a wonderful reflection guide called “Word Among Us.” This booklet highlights the readings for each of these seasons along with simple and beautiful reflections that could be used as discussion ideas within our small groups.  As our groups are formed or re-formed, please give me a call or e-mail me with any questions or needs that you might have.

Finally, I would ask all of you to please reserve Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 on your calendars’ for our Parish sponsored, Called and Gifted Workshop put on by the Catherine of Sienna Institute. This is a tremendous opportunity provided by our parish as part of our year long Jubilee year celebration. In this internationally acclaimed, fun filled workshop, you will learn what specific spiritual gifts that you possess, and how you can share them with the body of Christ. You will not want to miss this workshop which has limited seating.

Stay Blessed until next time,

Deacon Steve