E-Flame Newsletter January 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 prayer opportunities. We invite you to use this email as a one-stop resource center in growing your prayer life and Igniting Your Faith. 
Upcoming Prayer Opportunities

We want to extend an invitation to all adult members of the parish to attend this special prayer retreat. This is a wonderful way to cap off our prayer season of  Ignite Your Faith  and learn how prayer can fit into  your  family life. It is time to step up your game as strong examples to our outside community; whether it is for your children, God-children, neighbors, friends, or co-workers, everyone can benefit from this prayer retreat. We hope to see you there! 

***We are excited to host internationally known speaker Ryan O'Hara for a morning of prayer and inspiration for all our adult members of St. Bart's.  This will be an event you do not want to miss.  The morning will include light hospitality, a powerful message, uplifting worship music by our very own Connor Flanagan, Eucharistic Adoration, and a catered lunch to end the day. ***


-First Friday of the month, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 To sign up and for more information, CLICK HERE.
-Every Wednesday (when Faith Formation is in session), 4:30-7:30 p.m.

*Rosary For Life: 2nd Sunday of the month at 9:45 a.m. 

*Rosary Society: 1st Thursday of the month at 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Learn About Prayer 

In this video, Father Mike Schmitz talks about the when, where, what, and why of our prayer lives. This video is a practical, common sense mini-guide on how to get going if you have not started yet, or if you are stuck in your prayer life. This is also a great video to share with others, as Father Mike Schmitz is a welcoming figure in the Church that has much wisdom on many faith subjects.
Check out his other videos HERE.
 Prayer Inspiration  

We are coming to the end of the prayer season of Ignite Your Faith and it has been life changing for some of our parishioners. It has been exciting to have our community abuzz with their latest prayer updates and how God is working in their lives. As stated in last month's E-Flame, there are many roads we can walk down and with an open heart, all will lead us to our Lord, one way or another. 

As for parishioner Graeme Braithwaite, she has found success  in the prayer process card that was given out at the beginning of  Ignite Your Faith.

"Since receiving The Prayer Process card, I have been successful at praying at night!  Each morning when I make my bed, I put the prayer card on my pillow. That way when I return to the bed at night, I am reminded to pray before going to bed.  I pray the 7 steps on the card, one thing per step to keep it simple. It literally takes me less than 2 minutes! I can do that! It has been simple, it's a start, and it has become a nice end to my day.  I can see it becoming routine for me, and helping me become a more Dynamic Catholic."
Learn About Prayer 

In this video, Matthew Kelly discusses why sometimes, no matter what we do, it is so hard to pray. In this deeply inspirational video, he points out the struggles we have to keep prayer at the top of our priority list. He notes that prayer keeps us honest and moves us to change our ways, but our sinful nature tells us to be ashamed and can keep us from prayer.  
Personal Prayer Opportunities 

Want More? How About A Prayer Retreat?

Is God calling you closer to Him? Start this new year off with time just for the two of you! There are a handful of prayer retreat centers in MN and most are a hour or two away. Listed below are retreat centers to check out, or if you don't have a lot of time, check out the Catholic Spirit's calendar page to find local parish retreats to attend. Remember, time with God, no matter how much you can give, is  always  worth it. 

-Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center - Prior Lake, MN

Prayer Articles 
Some Thoughts 
On Prayer
 Written by an  anonymous parishioner 

So, you're on your way to being a Dynamic Catholic, or maybe you're already there. One of the central works of a Dynamic Catholic is prayer. Jesus sacrificed himself for our salvation and by all sorts of tortuous paths we have, through Gods desire, arrived at a place where we can pray for our salvation and the salvation of others. Our prayers are our thanks to Jesus for the gift He has given us. Jesus wants to save every person on earth, unfortunately, not everyone knows they need to be saved or wants to be saved. We can help Jesus in his mission to save souls by going to mass, the greatest form of prayer. Pope Paul VI, in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy said,

"For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished," most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church."  

Different types of prayer include, informal prayer, which can be speaking with Jesus daily through normal conversation, or formal prayers, such as the Rosary, one of the most powerful prayers. Every thought lifted to Jesus is a prayer and the Apostle Paul told us in 1 Thessalonians that we should  "Pray without ceasing".
Jesus also gave us his Mother Mary as our spiritual mother to intercede on our behalf. If we love Jesus' mother, Jesus will love us. Jesus loves his mother with a perfect, pure, and holy love and we can participate in that love by loving His mother as well. Mary always intercedes for us and if you ask something of her, she will bring it to her Son in a perfect way. Just as in chapter 2 of John's Gospel, at the wedding feast at Cana, Mary interceded for the couple;

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come. "His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
We know, however, that not every prayer is answered in the way we want it and when we want it. God knows what is best for us and for others in His own time. By us offering up our prayers and sacrifices, we are conforming our minds and hearts to our creator. As Jesus says in Matthew's Gospel Chapter 21,  "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive."
All this, in turn, brings peace to us and to the world around us. Now, more than ever, the world needs our prayers and Dynamic Catholics can bring about salvation to the millions of people that know Jesus, and the millions that don't. 

Life Changing Things Happen When We  Share Our Faith
Victoria Siedlecki

As Ignite Your Faith started, I was more than ready to embark on this spiritual endeavor. God was stirring within me and I was ready for whatever was coming my way. What I did not prepare for though, was how I found the encouragement to pray from someone I barely knew and the friendship that would grow from all this.

Life changing things happen when we are courageous enough to be honest with people and ask for help. The small talk I started with this person began with my general faith questions, and soon turned to specific questions about prayer and the struggles in our relationships with God. After many discussions and seeking wisdom from this friend, I began to understand why God had placed this person in my life. It was because Jesus truly lives within each of us, and this person was trying and succeeding to live with true faith and that I had found Jesus in this person. That's what it took for me to "get it", to recognize and remember my own value in Jesus, and to seek him with a pure heart through my prayers to Him.  

What has come from this growing friendship from both this faith friend and from God? The courage to approach the Rosary (which is new for me) with an open heart and knowing that the small changes in my life that come from prayer are more than enough, and the joy and anticipation that is building from IGNITING MY FAITH. I am incredibly blessed to call this person by friend and I am grateful to God for teaching me and showing me His love through another person.  

Second Sign - Study
Phase Two of Becoming A Dynamic Catholic 
is coming soon!

Time to find your copy of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic as we will be entering into the Study   phase of  Ignite Your Faith the weekend of February 11th and 12th. Now that we have been practicing growing our relationship with God through prayer, Matthew Kelly names the second sign as "all about our continuous learning, the daily discipline of exploring the way of Jesus and the genius of Catholicism." Study will look different for each of us, as we are all in different places on our faith journeys. There will be many opportunities to learn about our beautiful faith in phase two and listed below are some of the upcoming events to look forward to here at St. Barts. 

-Kick off weekend-  February 11th and 12th

-Nic Davidson Speaking Engagement- Monday February 27th

-The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic (Study section) book discussion 
 led by Tod Worner -  Monday March 20th

- Intro to the Catechism: Discover the Genius of Catholicism - 
Date TBD
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 and Connor Flanagan, Directors of the Faith Formation 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. 

***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