Saint Thomas the Apostle Religious Education
February 2019
From The Office Of The Director


We continue to move forward with our curriculum and service projects this month, reaching out to a variety of groups, especially Covenant to Care (a state agency for children).

Please make a note on your calendar of the following important dates :
  • There will no class on Tuesday, February 19th as it is part of the long weekend.
  • First Reconciliation will be celebrated at 7 PM on the 28th of February in the upper church (snow date is March 7th). Second graders are hard at work learning their prayers and finishing their preparation for First Reconciliation. We welcome Fr. David (music teacher at STA) and Fr. Richard who will be helping Fr. Moran hear confessions.
  • Our children’s Liturgy will be Sunday, February 10th at the 10:30 mass. Watch for a future email.
  • Looking forward to March, we encourage all families to join us for an Ash Wednesday prayer service on Wednesday, March 6th at 2:45 p.m. in the upper church. Ashes will be given out at the end of the prayer service.
  • Please also make a note that the parent meeting for those making their First Eucharist is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14th in the parish center.


God bless you all,

  Liz Kiselica
IN THE CLASSROOM
Mrs. Radigan (Grade 1, 2:30 PM & 4:30 PM) With Lent right around the corner we will start talking about Ash Wednesday and the 40 days of Lent, preparing for the great feast of Easter.
We just started Unit 3 which includes Chapters 9 through 12. Chapter 9 talks about Jesus, the Son of God and Mary his mother. In Chapter 10 we learn about the Last Supper and the Eucharist. We will explore this in more detail during Lent. Chapter 11 is all about forgiveness and sin. Chapter 12 teaches up about the Gospel and Psalms.
Remember that classes meet every Wednesday during Lent. I look forward to seeing your children each week.

Mrs Urciuoli (Grade 2, 2:30 PM)  The children are preparing for First Reconciliation, this will be the first but not the last. It’s natural that they are a little nervous. During our class time together we’re working on five steps to making a great Reconciliation.
Step 1: Examination of Conscience 
Step 2: Confession
Step 3: Penance 
Step 4: Contrition 
Step 5: Absolution 
We will be practicing these steps together. This is a new experience for children this age, please take a moment and share thoughts about your First Reconciliation. It’s a perfect opportunity to reinforce our class lessons.
If you have questions or concerns you may contact me through email   nilla1203@gmail.com .

Mrs. Burnett (Grade 3, 4:30 PM) Happy New Year! We are off to a peaceful, prayerful start this year! After a joyful group celebration of the Epiphany, including games, gifts and treats, we have focused on the importance of prayer and forgiveness. Ask your child if they can name the four different types of prayer or how many times Jesus tells us to forgive others.
We have discussed how prayer is a special time to talk and listen to God and how God, along with trusted family and friends, are sources of comfort and support in our daily lives.

M rs. Vandel (Grade 3, 2:30 PM) Wow, can you all believe it? Half the Religious Ed year is already over, but we still have a lot to cover in our 3 rd  grade class. To recap what we already did cover; we learned the importance of prayer using  The Lord’s Prayer  and  The Hail Mary  as our examples; how using the prayers properly can make a strong connection between us and The Father, and how when we ask for something in our prayers, God gives us what we need every time. We also remembered how our two most important holidays are Easter and Christmas, and how Christ came to earth to be born as a human, so that he could give Himself on the cross to save us from our sins.
Because God gives us what we need just as a parent would as we grow, so within the next week or so we will be doing something fun that will also say thank-you to our parents for all they do. While we do this activity, we will also be learning that the Church IS Catholic because it is a Church for everyone, so we will be talking about things like being welcoming and compassionate, and we will also be discussing our Lent Service Project, which will hopefully revolve around doing extra chores around the house, to earn food donations that at the end of Lent, we will all bring in to gather the items and bring them to the Parish food pantry. For this purpose, within the next few weeks, I will be sending home a “contract” for both the parents and children to sign as an agreement that for each chore the child does, they can earn one food item that they can bring to our collection. An example might be that if they make their beds, then they can earn a box of pasta to put in the collection, or some other item that you all can agree upon.”

Mrs. Levesque and Mrs. Navin (Grade 8) Eighth graders are working to recognize the Works of Mercy in real life after watching a video on everyday random acts of kindness. Students were given ‘Show Us Your Face’ prayer to use as a prayerful reflection to help them identify needs around us and which needs they feel called to fill. With a heightened sensitivity to need, we will choose our service project in early February. Please ask your child about the Works of Mercy to see if there is a sense of a calling toward a particular service project for our class this year.  
PARISH EVENTS
New Altar Server Training
  Children in Grades 3 and up are invited to attend an altar server training from 9 to 9:30 AM on Saturday, February 2nd or at 4:00 PM on Monday, February 4th in the upper church. All children in Grades 3 and up are welcome to participate and may serve at the Mass of their choosing. We know how busy you are and will schedule you around other commitments. The training is an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about this very important ministry. Please contact the rectory with any questions at either info@stawh.org or 860-233-8269.
 



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It is Not too Late to Join Little Lambs
We would like to invite all of our 3 to 6-year-old children to join us for Little Lambs program during the 10:30 AM masses. This is NOT a CCD class. This is a program that helps the children understand the Sunday Gospel’s on their level. We pray together, we sing songs, play games, activities, and read gospel stories age-appropriate. (It is not a problem if you cannot make it to the program every Sunday.) The program will runs until June 10, 2019 -- we do not meet on the big holidays and we do take time off during the weeks for First Communion. There is a registration form but there is no fee for this program. We line up in the back of the church, follow Father down in the procession, receive a blessing and head on down stairs. We try to return upstairs shortly after the homily and sit in the front pews of the church so the children have a better view of what’s happening on the altar. Parents typically gather the children at the end of mass. We are looking for a few volunteer teachers and helpers. A small amount of training and some requirements need to be met before starting. For more information please contact Stephanie Sokolowski at stephrae72@gmail.com or 860-977-6837.
Meet Deacon McCormack
We are excited to welcome Deacon McCormack to St. Thomas the Apostle. Deacon Jim McCormack comes to us from St. Mark the Evangelist, where he has served since his Ordination in 2014. Jim and his wife Kathy live in Hartford, where they raised their four children. During the week Jim works for Samsung Electronics America. Jim and Kathy were St. Thomas the Apostle parishioners for 20 years before Jim's ordination to the Diaconate.
Children's Rosary
The Children’s Rosary is a prayer group movement for children. It is a time when children can come together to pray and lead the rosary as a group. Parents are invited to stay and pray along in the pews as the children lead the prayers. This ministry serves to strengthen the prayer lives of our children. The Children's Rosary meets on the second Sunday of every month from 9:45-10:15 AM in the lower Chapel. Please contact Blythe Kaufman at blythe.kaufman@gmail.com  

Monthly Food Collection
We have seen an increase in the number of client's signing up for our food pantry. It is through the generosity of the people of the St. Thomas the Apostle community that we are able to fulfill the need for grocies to our neighbors in need. The next monthly food collection takes place the weekend of February 9th and 10th. There is always a need for soup, cereal and peanut butter. Why not consider holding a food drive in your neighborhoods or place of employment? Remember, all monetary donations are used to purchase food from Food Share.
 
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION DATES TO REMEMBER
Make sure that you note the following dates on your 2019 calendar:

Rehearsal for First Reconciliation will be held in the upper church at 2:30 p.m. on February 27, 2019.

First Reconciliation for all 2nd Grade students will be held in the upper church on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7 p.m. The snow date is Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.

The parent meeting for all 2nd Grade students who are preparing to receive their First Eucharist will be held in the parish center at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14th .

The retreat for all 2nd Grade students who are preparing for First Eucharist will be held from 2 - 4 p.m . in the parish center on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Rehearsal for First Eucharist will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1. 2019.

First Eucharist dates are the following Sundays at 10:30 a.m.: May 5, May 12 and May 19 (limited space available).
STA Religious Education | Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle | religioused@stawh.org |
860- 523-4209