E-Flame Newsletter February 2017
We warmly welcome you and thank you for subscribing to receive the  Ignite Your Faith  E-Flame newsletter. Each month, you will find information on current and past events, articles to cultivate your faith life, and a calendar of upcoming study and prayer opportunities. We invite you to use this email as a one-stop resource center in Igniting Your Faith. 
Second Sign- STUDY

The second sign of a dynamic Catholic is STUDY. Every day dynamic Catholics find or make time to study their faith. Throughout the next four months, we will be breaking down the ways Catholics study their faith and learning the how's and why's to making study a part of our own everyday lives. 

READING: Reading Catholic books and articles is a great way to grow your knowledge about and deepen your faith. 

INVESTIGATION: Some of us have a desire to investigate various questions about our faith. Studying scripture, Church history, the lives of the saints and religious leaders, different kinds of spirituality, morality and more are all important topics. 

REFLECTION: This third form of study might be the most important. Reflection takes us inside ourselves. Listening to the inner voice of God reveals so much. Matthew Kelly suggests that we can learn more in one hour of reflective silence then we can in a year of reading books. 

STUDY is all about continuous learning and it will look different for each of us, as we are all at different places on our faith journeys. Make this part of Ignite Your Faith a time to open your mind, open your heart, be curious, and let God teach you something new.


Monday February 27
7:00 PM
Nic Davidson:  Why Be Catholic?
Open to all ages:  Come join us to learn about and ponder the question we might all have asked ourselves at one point in our lives, "WHY BE CATHOLIC?". With the guidance of  Nic Davidson , a youth minister, missionary, speaker, and author, this one hour event will help provide a different perspective on our Catholic faith and inspire us to embrace God's gift of the Church.  No registration needed. 

Monday, March 20
6:45 - 7:45 PM
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic (Study section) 
Book Discussion ( led by Tod Worner)
Tod Worner is back to lead our parish wide book discussion group. There were many wonderful insights that came from the first discussion group. We hope you find time to read pages 75-106 and come join the discussion to find what other Catholics are reading and studying and how you too can grow in your faith. No registration needed.

Wednesday, May 17
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Intro to the Catechism:
Discover the Genius of Catholicism 

In a time with so many questions and so much confusion for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the church has given us a great gift in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Join Andrew Allen, Director of Faith Formation, and Connor Flanagan, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Bart's, for a special presentation that introduces the Catechism, shows you how to use it, but also covers the inspiring message of God's plan for us. No registration needed.

Study Your Faith 
Why And How To Study The Bible - Videos

The Scriptures
The Scriptures-Matthew Kelly

Ways To Read The Bible- Father Mike Schmitz
Ways To Read The Bible-
Father Mike Schmitz
Bible Study 
Lectio Divina: 
A Way to Pray and Study
Written by Graeme Braithwaite

"When you read the Bible, God speaks to you; when you pray you speak to God." (Saint Augustine, 354-430 A.D.)
As we wrap up the Prayer phase of Ignite Your Faith and move into the Study phase, here is a way to both pray and study.
In the Psalms, the Psalmist is often responding to God with a prayer of praise after reading and studying the word of God.  Lectio divina (Latin for "divine reading") is a simple method of praying with Scripture, like a psalmist, and has been done for centuries.
The definition of Lectio divina is "a reading, on an individual or communal level, of a more or less lengthy passage of scripture, received as the word of God and leading, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to meditation, prayer, and contemplation" (The Pontifical Biblical Commission, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church," Origins 23 [1994] 522).
The process of Lectio divina is relatively simple:
  1. Opening prayer to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, enlightenment, and guidance.
  2. A Scripture reading of any length. This can be read silently if alone, or aloud with a group. 
  3. A period of reflective silence, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.
  4. Closing prayer of praise and thanksgiving.
A variety of words, phrases, or stories may touch you in a variety of ways.  Simply follow where the Spirit leads.
Here are what some Bible study students have said about their experience with Lectio divina on a communal level during a Bible study:
"I like the opening prayer to bring in the Holy Spirit."
"I especially like the time for reflection to breakdown what 
was read giving me time to understand and relate it to my life so
 I could fully receive Jesus' message."
"As we read a gospel, a word or short phrase seems
 to always jump out from it."

Additional Resources:
USCCB, Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Art and Practice of Lectio Divina. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C.

Magrassi M., Lectio Divina.  Collegeville, MN.

Study- Getting Started

Rediscover Your Faith Or 
Learn It For The First Time

How exciting is it that the Catholic tradition is so rich in love, grace, and gifts that it can take our whole lives to learn about it. With everyday changes, uncertain times, and with the joy and beauty of all the blessings we are given, our Catholic faith can be a source of and fit into a meaningful, prominent, and current way of living. By choosing to learn more about our faith, we can bring the Gospel message to everyone we meet. Below are two major local resources to help you get started.

REDISCOVER- Articles about our faith- Just click through the top tabs (Meaning, Belonging, Strength/Freedom/Peace, Prayer). 

REDISCOVER- Master local resource guide- includes websites, media/T.V., and bookstores. 

Family Resources
Guiding Your Catholic Family
Written by Victoria Siedlecki

As parents, we are the primary teachers to our children. However, no one said it was going to be a walk in the park. Just like the larger Catholic community helps to support and provides resources for our own individual faith journeys, so does it support the job we have as Catholic parents to pass on the faith. Below you will find a handful of Catholic parenting blogs and other resources that might be helpful to you. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, God parent, or a family friend, these resources are here to help. A kind reminder that you are the only one who knows what is best for your family and all these resources are here to help and not to provide guilt, increase the idea of perfectionism, or to fuel comparison among us. 

May God bless your family, bless you as teacher to children, bless you and your efforts to provide the message of Jesus in the hearts of children, and may you always remember that God sees your heart and in the words of Mother Teresa, "Do small things with great love".   

100 Resources For Catholic Families- The Kennedy Adventures 

Life Teen (Resource for high school students)

Busted Halo (Resource for college students)

**Stories! Stories! 
We Need Your Stories!**

Sometimes God speaks and calls us through the people around us. It would be an honor to hear YOUR story! We are looking for insights that you have gained from  Ignite Your Faith or any resources that you rely on that help support learning about the faith. It would also be wonderful to hear your questions; what parts of your faith are you unsure about? Do you struggle to understand the BIG questions of life, or to you get stuck on the details? If you would like to be a blessing to our faith community and would like to share, please let us know. You can email me, Victoria Siedlecki, at siedlecki0906@msn.com.


Recap of St. Bart's Prayer Retreat
"Prayer: The Most Important Conversation Of The Day"
Written by Victoria Siedlecki

A group of about 100 curious and inspired people gathered to attend the Ignite Your Faith prayer retreat at the end of last month. It was a beautiful and insightful morning. While people in attendance were nourished with great food before and after the event, many received Ryan O' Hara's words as a call to connect and have a deeper relationship with God through prayer. There was also time set aside to embrace the real presence of Christ in adoration and be spiritually moved with worship music provided by Connor Flanagan and Andrew Allen.

Ryan's Connective and down-to-earth stories helped to provide a new perspective of prayer with the first portion of the morning talking about "Prayer: The Most Important Conversation Of The Day". Many of Matthew Kelly's foundational points were touched on including the prayer process card that St. Bart's parishioners received at the beginning of Ignite Your Faith and the all important quote "Our lives change when our habits change". 

The second part of Ryan's talk shifted and provided a focus on "Catholic Parenthood: The Hardest Best Job You'll Ever Have". He reminded us all that we are called by God to pray with our children and for our children and to preach through what we say and what we do

        ***For more opportunities and information, 
including an overview of the program, full articles, 
and up-to-date prayer resource list, 
click below***

We hope you enjoyed this St. Bart's E-Flame newsletter! If you have a prayer story you would like to share in an upcoming newsletter or thoughts about how Ignite Your Faith is changing your faith life, please let us know. Email Victoria Siedlecki at siedlecki0906@msn.com