November 15, 2019
In this Issue

Class schedule for coming weeks
Sacrament Preparation Information
Christmas Eve Pageant
Advent Party
Family Masses & CIA Christ in Action
Cub Scout Open House and Recruitment Night
Junior High Update
Cross Country Congratulations
Thanksgiving Pies request
"Gospel At Home" resource
Safety Information
Parish News
Class Schedule for Coming Weeks

November 17  Regular CFF classes.  Sacrament Preparation in Notre Dame Hall.
November 24  No classes; AUSD Fall Break  (Advent Party in Notre Dame Hall)
December 1    No classes; AUSD Fall Break  (Family Mass & Breakfast with Santa)
December 8    Regular CFF classes. No Sacrament Preparation (Guadalupe Celebration)
December 15  Regular CFF classes. Sacrament Preparation in Notre Dame Hall
Dec 22 & 29    No classes; Christmas Break  
January 5        CFF class with General Assembly; Sacrament Prep families invited

Classes are 10:45 to 11:45.  Your promptness is appreciated.  
Complete class schedule for Children's Faith Formation available on our parish website here, and for Sacrament Preparation available here.   

"Growing Up Catholic" Sacrament Preparation 

Our "whole-family" sessions (child accompanied by parent, grandparent or guardian) for families in their second year of Sacrament Preparation resume this Sunday.  Come to  the 9:30 Mass (unless your family attends a different time), quickly pick up your donut and juice in the Gathering Space after Mass, and join us in Notre Dame Hall early to get name tags and pick up your "Growing Up Catholic" materials before we begin at 10:45.  If possible, please bring a Bible from home each week.   If you haven't turned in your Liturgy Preference Form (download here) you can do so Sunday morning.  Parent Guides for next two sessions are included below for those who like to prepare in advance. 

Remaining dates for First Reconciliation Preparation:
Nov 17  (Parent Guide for ages  7-9  or 10-14)
Dec 15  (Parent Guide for ages 7-9  or 10-14)
Jan 12   
Jan 26
Feb 2
Feb 9 
First Reconciliation 6pm on Monday February 10

(Although there is no Sacrament Preparation class on January 5, your family is invited to join Children's Faith Formation's Epiphany celebration General Assembly in the Learning Center that morning.)
Complete Sacrament Preparation schedule is available  here.   
Catechist Guides for using Pflaum Gospel Weeklies at home available on our website at
Christmas Eve Family Mass  Sign ups  
Rehearsals start next week

Students are invited to tell the story of Christ's birth through drama, song and movement at the 4pm Mass on December 24.  
All ages (4 to 13) can join "the choir of angels" who will sing traditional 
carols with movements; rehearsals with CIA Christ in Action are Tuesdays 4:15 to 5:00 November 19 through December 17 plus 2 extra afternoons.  Nov 19 will meet in the Parish Center, 1119 Lafayette St; all other afternoons in the Basilica. 

For the dramatization of the Gospel, students who can memorize lines and proclaim them loudly can audition for the roles of Mary, Joseph, Angel Gabriel, Shepherds or Innkeeper.   (There can be a few non-speaking roles for animals.)   We're also looking for students 5th grade or older to serve as "stage hands" to assist with props, etc.  Auditions, assignments and overview will be Wednesday November 20 starting at 4pm in the Basilica, followed by rehearsals every Wednesday 4 to 5pm and on Monday Dec 23.  

Consistent attendance at rehearsals is required for both groups.  More info  here.   

Advent Party November 24

There's no class November 24, so join us for a Family Advent Party in Notre Dame Hall at 10:45.  Invite your friends.  (All children must be accompanied by their parent or other adult; no drop-offs.)  Decorate a Jesse Tree, learn about the Advent wreath (some might be available for purchase), story-telling.  Bring refreshments to share.  Details here
Co-sponsored by the Special Needs Inclusion Ministry
Family Mass & CIA Christ in Action

Our next Family Mass is December 1. Afterwards the entire family can enjoy "Breakfast with Santa" hosted by our Knights of Columbus in Notre Dame Hall.  (Since no class that day, no need to rush breakfast!)

The Family Mass continues to be enriched by the new CIA Christ in Action ministry.  If your child is interested in participating in the January 12 Family Mass, rehearsals start Tuesday Dec 3, from 3:30 to 4:15 in the Basilica. Information available here.

"Scout Me In!"  Open House December 2

Did you know St. Joseph's sponsors a Cub pack?    All youth (boys and girls) K-5 are welcome to attend an open house and recruitment night at 6pm Monday December 2, in the Parish Center at 1119 Lafayette Street.    There will be a program for the kids and a presentation for the parents.   Scouting is "Fun with a Purpose." 

Junior High Update

The Junior High Reconciliation Service and Ice Cream Party was a success.  Thanks to all who participated, especially catechist Ms Natalie for the wonderful idea, and Fr. Paul and Fr. Sunil who heard their confessions on Saturday afternoon.  The students (and their parents) appreciated the special time to celebrate this special gift of healing - and who doesn't love ice cream!  
St. Joseph's Advent Reconciliation Service will be Monday December 16 at 7pm in the Basilica; bring your family.  (But alas, no ice cream...)

Remember that parent volunteers are needed at each class , since there must always be at least two adults present - and i t's fun to learn about our faith together!   Help is needed this Sunday!  If you haven't signed up yet, you can do it now here.
Congratulations, Izzy!

Congratulations to 5th grader Izzy Rodgers for taking first place in the Diocesan Cross Country Championship Meet last month!  Check out the article in this week's Catholic Voice here.  We are proud of all the athletes who competed.

Students who have participated in faith formation for at least one year are eligible to join St. Joseph's CYO cross country team (fall) and/or track & field team (spring).

Pies for Community Thanksgiving

Enjoy an act of loving service with your child, to bake (or buy) a pie together for the annual Alameda Community Thanksgiving, hosted by Christ Episcopal Church.  Pies should be delivered to Christ Church (Grand Street parking lot entrance to the kitchen at Santa Clara) on Wednesday November 27, between 9am-6pm.  If you will donate, please email by November 24 so t hey will know in advance how many pies to expect.  "Feed the hungry." "Comfort the lonely."  

The Gospel at Home - Resource

Would you like to better understand what your children are learning in class on Sundays, and learn how you can help reinforce the lesson?  The Gospel at Home from Pflaum's Gospel Weeklies provides a short description of each Sunday Gospel plus suggested activities and discussion starters for every age level. Enjoy easy-to-do ideas that can help your family share together what they have learned.  Click below to download the Gospel at Home for upcoming weeks, in English or Spanish.

November 17 in English or Spanish
November 24 in English or Spanish
December 1 in English or Spanish
December 8 in English or Spanish
December 15 in English or Spanish

Safety Information

Due to the large number of students and the busy parking lot, parents must sign their children into their classrooms before class each morning and sign them out at the end of class.  Junior high students may sign themselves out if the parent has signed a release. 
No food or beverages are allowed in the school building (Learning Center or classrooms), so please have your child finish any snacks before entering. 
More information here.
Parish News

The Young Families Group, Young Adults Group, and  Covenant of Love (Date Night for married couples) are joining together to make "blessing bags" for the homeless and enjoy a p otluck dinner this Saturday, November 16 at 6:30pm in Notre Dame Hall. Info here.   

View general upcoming events on our website here, or better yet, sign up for the weekly Basilica E-News here.

If you do not wish to receive Faith Formation emails, please email me and I will remove you from this distribution list.  
Anne Marie Fourre, Director of Faith Formation
510-995-9409 |