Bulletin Article – August 13, 2023

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

From The Coordinator Of Religious Education

by Gwen Cataldo, CRE

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus / Look full in his wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of his glory and grace” (“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, Helen L. Hemmel, 1992). 

This is it! It’s finally here! The 2023-2024 school year is about to begin! We are back to school. Back to the schedules. Back to the business. This is an exciting time for our school and parish family. As we prepare our children to grow academically, socially, and emotionally, we as a community must pray for them as they continue to grow spiritually.

I for one am very much looking forward to it (can you tell?), but I also recognize what is heading our way. There is a big change between life in the summer and life during the school year for many of us, and that can at times be a difficult, anxiety inducing transition. Growing up around the water, I find a lot of meaning in how water moves. When I think about the start of the school year, it can sometimes bring to mind an image of white caps out in the bay, rolling into shore. These whitecaps are fascinating to look at, but terrifying to try to navigate through. Jesus offers us the perfect antidote for any fear or anxiety we may be feeling at the start of the year: his face. He asks us to trust him as he holds out his hand to us, ready to pull us into a new and exciting adventure. 

It can be hard to see his face in our daily lives. As we get caught up in our schedules and commitments, it can be more difficult to figure out how our faith can continue to grow. How can we go about seeing the face of Jesus more often in our lives? As the Coordinator of Religious Education here at SMOS, one of my goals is to foster a greater connection among the school and parish communities. What does that look like? My goal is to help facilitate the development of relationships among parishioners, teachers, and children so that we feel like one community. Our transition into this new school year is the perfect opportunity for us to be renewed in our mission to get to know each other so that we can ultimately work to help get one another to heaven. Here are some initiatives to keep an eye out for that I think might help us do just that.

Our Parishioner Pen Pal Program will be back again this year! After doing a trial run during our second semester last spring, there have been requests on both sides to bring it back. Keep an eye out for details in the bulletin to sign up. 

Faith and Fellowship on Fridays. Parishioners and parents are invited to come together on Friday mornings at 8:00 in the Hesed Outdoor Classroom to take part in prayer and build relationships with one another. All are welcome!

Mark your calendars for Catechetical Sunday, which takes place on Sunday, September 17. We will celebrate our teachers as they endeavor to share the faith with the children in our community. 
These ideas are just the start. There are so many ways that we can come together as one community throughout this year. I look forward to partnering with each of you as we work toward uniting our parish family on a broader scale.

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