Saint Thomas the Apostle Religious Education
March 2019
From The Office Of The Director
Congratulations to our second graders! They received the sacrament of Reconciliation. Filled with God's grace, they now continue their preparation for the sacrament of Eucharist. There is a parent meeting for First Eucharist on Thursday, March 14th at 6:30 PM in the parish center.
We continue to move forward with our curriculum and service projects this month, reaching out to a variety of groups, especially to the Humane Society and Covenant to Care.
There will be a prayer service followed by the giving of ashes on Wednesday, March 6th at 2:45 in the upper church. All families are welcome. Lenten materials will be distributed to the students following the service.
We welcome back our junior high students on March 5th as they begin their 3rd session.
                                                                                                                       
God Bless you all,                                               

  Liz Kiselica

IN THE CLASSROOM
Mrs. Burnett (Grade 3, 4:30 PM) We have learned a bit about The Bible and how to locate Bible stories and scripture versus. We made a special Valentine using the scriptural verse John 3:16. We also took time for meditation prayer in the Chapel. The students really appreciate this quiet time with Jesus and request this prayer time. We will continue to learn how Jesus wants us to follow Him and seek forgiveness of our sins as we forgive others in our lives. Lent is a perfect time to focus on this.

Mrs. Vandal (Grade 3, Wed. 2:30) Now that Lent is just around the corner, most of the parents of my 3rd grade students had received my previously mentioned letter for our class’s Lenten Service Project. For the parents of the children that could not make it to class this last Wednesday, I will give them copies of the letter when I see them this coming Wednesday. Our service project will be a group collection for the St. Thomas food pantry. It will simply include an agreement between the child and the parents that for every chore the child completes without being asked, they earn one dry or canned food item. They can collect all the food items they earn and bring them in the last day of class before Easter, and we will take all the food items we bring in together to the St. Thomas Food Pantry.
While we will still also keep working in our workbooks, my goal for the children is to be able to build up compassion for those less fortunate than them by earning the food they will donate and so also appreciating the “treasures” they, themselves have in the family they have, the homes they live in, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, and the books and toys they may have.

Mrs. Panarella (Grade 5) S tudents have been creating a “live” Stations of the Cross to be performed on a Wednesday class time in March. We also listened to a beautiful song by a young Christian artist. See link for You Say by Lauren Daigle


Mrs. Levesque and Mrs. Navin (Grade 8) Despite our many weather related cancellations, we were able to pray for guidance for our service project. We prayed "Show us Your Face," which asks God to help us to recognize Him when He presents himself before us. We meet in a corner basement room in the school. Two of the walls are lined with windows that extend from the ceiling to almost half way down the wall. It is pitch black outside during class, so we never see anything outside the window beyond an occasional car headlight. The first time we prayed for service project guidance, a white Labrador retriever appeared walking along the windows, like a white angel in the darkness. We couldn't help to notice him. We then generated excellent ideas for the service project, one of them being to help homeless pets. The night we voted to select a service project, just prior to the vote, the same white Lab appeared walking past our windows. Divine intervention is hard to discount when it happens twice! Needless to say, the service project selected is to help the pets in need at the Connecticut Humane Society. Details will be ironed out in March.  
Students to Participate in Lenten Project
This year the religious education program will participate in the parish wide Lenten project. The them is re- SET: God is the key. We will be discussing ways in which we can follow each theme. Children will be invited to write how they fulfilled these themes on the graffiti wall that will be located at the main entrance to the church. 
            
  • March 10 - Prayer: re-IMAGINE your conversations with God
  • March 17 - Ministry: re-THINK how to get involved in your parish
  • March 24 - Mission: re-VITALIZE your action in the community
  • March 31 – Reconciliation: re-UNITE with family and friends and God
  •  April 7 – Evangelize: re-INVENT how you spread the word, welcome, invite
        
checkerboard-cookies.jpg
Snack Donations Needed
Snack donations are needed for our Tuesday evening students. Some suggestion are: popcorn, pretzels, granola bars, Rice Krispie Treats, etc. Please send your donation in with your student when they come to class. Questions? Contact Liz Kiselica at religioused@stawh.org. THANK YOU!

PARISH EVENTS
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. 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. For more information please contact Stephanie Sokolowski at stephrae72@gmail.com or 860-977-6837.
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 groceries to our neighbors in need. The next monthly food collection takes place the weekend of March 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:

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