Diocese of Allentown
Adult Formation Newsletter
The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of The Blessed Virgin Mary on Tuesday, March 19, 2019
March 2019

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and learn about all of the great offerings that we have planned for the coming months!

We hope that you are able to join us at some of the wonderful events and courses that we have available for you!

In Christ,
Office of Adult Formation
Diocese of Allentown
The Institute for Catechesis and Formation
Learn Your Faith + Live Your Faith + Love Your Faith
Join us to grow deeper in the understanding of your faith
with ICF courses taking place in 2019!
ICF 101
Christian Anthropology
This course will examine who God is as the One who seeks to share Himself with His creation. A brief survey of Salvation History will be traced to Jesus Christ, the Redeemer who saves humanity, and teaches us what it means to be a human person.
ICF 104
The Sacraments
The Sacraments are intimate, personal encounters between God and His people. This course will present an overview of these signs of God's love for us, by which He makes a personal connection with us and conveys grace - His very life within us.
ICF 105
Christian Morality
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental teachings of Catholic morality and its foundations in Sacred Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law. Participants will examine virtue, conscience formation and make application to contemporary moral issues in the areas of health care, sexuality and social justice.
The Institute for Catechesis and Formation is intended to provide an opportunity for all of the faithful to delve deeper in their understanding of God's saving plan for us all.
Faith & Spirits
Faith and Spirits was created to provide a forum for all adult Catholics to learn more about their faith in a comfortable setting. It is offered at various locations throughout the Diocese with a variety of engaging speakers and intriguing topics. Come enjoy an evening out, a meal with friends, and an opportunity to deepen your faith!
Salesian Spirituality:
Getting to Know the "Other" Saint Francis
Join us as Maggie Riggins, Campus Minister of DeSales University, introduces us to Saint Francis de Sales! Known as the "Gentleman Saint", he wrote prolifically about holiness in the everyday life of lay people.

Monday, March 18, 2018
6:30 PM

PJ Whelihan's
1101 Rocky Road
Reading, PA 19609

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 282-1100, Ext. 2021

There is no cost to attend Faith and Spirits. Menus will be available for the purchase of food or drink at your expense.
TRUTH: What the Catholic Church Really Teaches
Formerly known as the Apologetics Forum, this free series will discuss topics within the Faith that many of our contemporaries disagree with or don't ascribe to. Many of us believe the Church's teachings but don't know how to speak about them with our neighbors, co-workers, and children. This series will change that. TRUTH: What the Catholic Church Really Teaches will prepare every day lay Catholics with the tools of how to discuss the challenging teachings of our great Faith. 
The Dangers of New Age Practices:
Helping Catholics Respond
Have you ever been asked or wondered... What is dangerous about tarot cards, ouija boards, and other New Age or occult practices? Are there dangers in watching TV shows or movies that involve mediums? Join us as Msgr. John Esseff discusses how a Catholic should respond to these questions and more about the dangers of New Age practices!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

St. John XXIII Parish
307 Pine St.
Tamaqua, PA 18252

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2021

There is no cost to attend this event.
An Evening of Divine Mercy
“God’s Remedy for Our Sins”
A Lenten Reflection by Sr. Gaudia Skass, OLM
Join us for a prayerful evening of reflection on the Divine Mercy! Sr. Gaudia Skass, OLM will give a moving presentation about God's infinite mercy during an evening centered in prayerful Adoration of Our Lord.

Thursday, April 11, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

St. Joseph the Worker Parish
1879 Applewood Drive
Orefield, PA 18069

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2021

There is no cost to attend this event.
Lenten Morning of Reflection for Men
Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving
The Diocesan Commission for Men is offering a men’s Lenten morning of reflection featuring presentations by the Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert and Rev. Bernard Ezaki. Refreshments will be offered beginning at 8:30 AM in the Parish Activity Center. Presentations by will begin in the Cathedral at 9:15 AM, ending by 11:30 AM. The Sacrament of Confession will be offered as well.

Saturday, March 9, 2019
8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena
1825 W. Turner St.
Allentown, PA 18104

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2027
Rachel's Vineyard Retreat
An intimate spiritual journey for anyone
seeking healing after abortion
In a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment you can focus on this painful time in your life and enter into the process of healing. Through scripture readings, guided meditations, and activities flowing from the meditations you can experience God’s compassion and forgiveness.

March 22-24, 2019

For registration information contact:
Sr. Meg Cole
1-866-3 RACHEL (Toll Free)
610-332-0442 Ext. 2019
Prison Ministry Workshop
Join us for a morning workshop intended for all Catholic Prison Ministry Volunteers in the Diocese of Allentown which will feature talks and discussions designed to assist those in Catholic Prison Ministry.

Saturday, March 23, 2019
8:30 AM to 12:00 PM

St. Joseph the Worker
1879 Applewood Drive
Orefield, PA 18069

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2028

God's Mysterious Love
A Lenten Evening of Reflection
for the Separated & Divorced
Individuals who are separated or divorced will gain an understanding of the spirituality of suffering, loss and grief. The evening includes time for adoration, a brief presentation and fellowship.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

St. Francis Retreat House
3918 Chipman Road
Easton, PA 18045

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2028

Commission for Women
Breakfast with the Bishop
The Commission for Women invite all women to “Breakfast with the Bishop” event on Saturday, April 6, 2019 beginning with daily Mass at 8 AM at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown followed by Recitation of the Rosary, Breakfast and a Lenten Reflection by Bishop Schlert. Please join us as we gather together during this season of Lent for Prayer and Fellowship.

Saturday, April 6, 2019
8:00 AM

Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena
Parish Center
1825 W. Turner St.
Allentown, PA 18104

Questions: Please email
or call Susan Teaford at
(610) 207-5763
Natural & Restorative Approaches
Learn how the Creighton Model Fertility Care System TM uses a far superior treatment for infertility and many gynecological problems. This FREE event is open to couples or anyone interested in learning more about MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS in natural systems of fertility care.

Thursday, April 11, 2019
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Penn State Health Saint Joseph
Room Franciscan A
2500 Bernville Road (Route 183)
Reading, PA 19605

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2024

Married Love: Contemplating the Face of Christ
A Retreat for Couples Married 1-10 Years
This retreat will help couples see how Jesus shows them the way to a deep committed love for each other through self-sacrifice. Couples will be given opportunities to contemplate the face of Christ and prepare for Holy Week. Cost for the day is $30 per couple and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Childcare is available onsite.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

St. Francis Retreat House
3918 Chipman Road
Easton, PA 18045

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 289-8900, Ext. 2028

Walking With Purpose Live Event
Shining a Light in the Darkness
God has promised us that light shines in darkness, and that darkness will never overcome it. This means that we can live triumphantly even when shadows fall on our hearts, families and communities. Join Lisa Brenninkmeyer at WWP Live and explore how to win the battle in your mind, stand firm in the face of struggle, and live out of your true identity in Christ.
March 11, 2019
7:00 PM

March 12, 2019
10:00 AM

St. Joseph Parish
332 Manor Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19355
For more information or to register visit:
Reel to Real Movie Series
Paul: Apostle of Christ
DeSales University's Salesian Center for Faith & Culture sponsors special movie events to generate discussions on a particular topic of interest. These events are FREE and open to the public. FREE POPCORN TOO!!!

The story covers Paul going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ's most influential apostle.

Monday, April 15, 2019
7:00 PM

DeSales University Center
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 18034

Questions: Please email
or call (610) 282-1100, Ext. 1244
Scott Hahn in Sellersville, PA
Don’t miss Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center at St. Agnes Catholic Church on Saturday, June 15, 2019, for a powerful presentation on the riches of our Catholic faith.

Best-selling author and renowned biblical scholar Scott Hahn will explore the Sacrifice of the Mass and how we can get the most out of it and other key aspects of our Catholic faith in three talks. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about the St. Paul Center and our mission to promote biblical literacy from the heart of the Church.

You can choose to include a boxed lunch from Down to Earth Café in your registration for a total of $35. Registration not including lunch is $20.

Go deeper in your faith—register for this powerful event today!
Monday, April 15, 2019
7:00 PM

St. Agnes Catholic Church
445 N Main St.
Sellersville, PA 18960

To register or for more information visit
Defending the Faith Conference
Bus Trip
DEFENDING THE FAITH CONFERENCE BUS TRIP to Franciscan Univ. Jul 26–28: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope- 1 Peter 3: 15”. This is a WONDERFUL opportunity to enhance the knowledge of your faith & spiritual growth with over 1,200 other attendees. The conference includes theologians and apologists who are bestselling authors and renowned speakers who not only teach, but also motivate. Scott Hahn is the co-chair of the event which includes: Daily Mass, confession and a joyful, prayerful, and musical bus ride. More info on the conference can be found at: http://steubenvilleconferences.com/adult/dfc/. Previous attendees found this conference to be a significant lift in their spiritual lives. This very popular conference is normally sold out before May. Discounts for early registration. Call Deacon Bruce for information at (610) 468-9506 or b@swist.us.
Resource Highlight
Mystery of God: Who God Is and Why He Matters
The Office of Adult Formation has a resource library that is available for parishes, prayer groups, and individuals to review. This month we will highlight one of our resources called Mystery of God: Who God Is and Why He Matters.

Atheism is on the rise. Skeptical thinkers like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris vigorously attack belief in God as irrational or, even worse, dangerous. The so-called New Atheism has attracted millions of young people thanks to bestselling books such as The God Delusion and God Is Not Great.

How should Christians respond? How can we turn the tide of secularism and draw people back to God?

In this six-part film series and study program, Bishop Robert Barron reaches into our rich intellectual tradition to teach us how. Using the insights of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict XVI, he uncovers a clear yet sophisticated understanding of what we mean by "God".

Who is God? And why does he matter? Watch this series and you'll not only learn the answers yourself, but you'll discover how to share them with others - especially those who no longer believe.
For more information about The Mystery of God: Who God Is and Why He Matters visit

For resources in our Diocesan library visit
or Call 610-289-8900, Ext. 2027.
Catholic Basics
Why does one profess belief that there is only one God?
Belief in the one God is professed because he has revealed himself to the people of Israel as the only One when he said, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4) and “there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). Jesus himself confirmed that God is “the one Lord” (Mark 12:29). To confess that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God and Lord does not introduce any division into the one God.
The Catholic Mirror:
Reflections on Our Life in Christ
Lent is a time in which we endeavor to purify ourselves, so much as possible, so that we may be ready to celebrate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, also known as the Paschal Mystery. Here we recognize our sins and failings and work to remove from our lives the dispositions that lead us to fail through the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We must be washed clean of the filth of sin which covers us by regaining our Baptismal purity through the Sacrament of Confession. Through the graces latent in these methods worthily performed we conform ourselves to Christ more fully. We are not, as Martin Luther believed, "snow-covered dung-hills," but rather we are divinized and made into Christ. We cannot do this on our own, but it is these penitential actions which open us up to receiving God's Sacramental graces which effect this divinization. If we truly enter into this penitential season of Lent, without holding back, we will find ourselves dressed for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb and fully ready to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord at Easter.

Ask yourself what impurities need to be washed away from your life. What is holding you from fully entering into communion with Christ? With this in mind, bathe yourself in the graces available to you this Lenten Season through the Sacraments, regular prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Let us Praise the Lord.
-And give him thanks.
Thank you for reading. We pray that you have a blessed Lent. Hopefully we will see you at some of our events!

Deo Omnis Gloria.
Diocese of Allentown
Office of Adult Formation
2121 Madison Ave
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017
The Solemnity of The Annunciation of the Lord
on Monday, March 25, 2019
Rick Dooley, Assistant Director
Office of Adult Formation
610-289-8900, Ext. 2027
Mary Fran Hartigan, Director
Faith Formation
610-289-8900, Ext. 2026
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