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May 8, 2020

Dear Families and Friends,

Well, this would have been the week we said good-bye to one another for the summer.  We would have crowned Mary as our Queen at opening prayer and then we would have had our closing Mass this coming Monday.  The ending of this year is sad, since we haven't been with the students and the last time we were together, we didn't know it would be the last time for the year. There are no words to say how much we miss our students, catechists, and families.  It has been too long since we have been together.  THANK YOU to all of you for making this a wonderful, memorable year! 

The following lessons would have been completed this week:
Grades 1-6 = Wrap Up/End of Year Lesson (front of book/seasons)
Grade 7 = Chapter 20-22  (They would have hit the highlights!)
Grade 8 - Chapter 21-22  (Again, hit the highlights!)

Some good news came out this week too!  In our Diocese, public Masses will resume the weekend of May 23-24.  St. Charles will send out/relay guidelines with further instructions.  The dispensation from the obligation to attend Masses has been extended to August 15 as well.  

You can still participate in a livestream Mass with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades every Sunday at 10 a.m. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.” Other Mass options, diocesan directives, and more can be found at diocesefwsb.org/COVID-19.

We had a meeting today regarding First Communion.  For those parents with a First Communicant, be on the look out for an email with information coming out this week. 

Thank you to those that have returned registration forms for the 2020-2021 RE year.  It really does help us plan and purchase materials.  If you have the chance to register, no payment needed at this time, please fill out the attached form and email it back to us.

Here is the latest Fireside Chat from Fr. Tom and it includes me talking about RE, sacraments, and programs!  Check it out and learn a little lesson from Fr. Tom t00.  I love getting to "brag" about our program and all of you!  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8gwg_tAJLE)

The 2020-2021 calendar is attached to this email as well.  It has also been added to our portion of the parish website.  (stcfw.org > on the pull down menu, select Faith Formation > click on Children's Religious Education)  

As I close this note, I must thank all of our catechists and assistants who give of their time and talent to the children of our parish each week.  We could not teach and create lessons without them!  Thank you for all you do!!

I also want to wish a special congratulations and best of luck to our graduates who will be moving on to high school.  Timmy, Claudia, Olivia, Maggie, Brent, Alexiz, Jacob, Braiden, Issac, Ashley, Sean, and Austin---we will miss you next year, but wish you much luck as you move on to all the fun future endeavors that are ahead of you!  Don't forget us!  Know that you will always remain in our prayers and part of the RE family!

Stay safe, have a wonderful summer, and we will see you all in September or hopefully soon in the pews at Mass!

Blessings, 
Amy Johns

____________________

May 1, 2020

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker 

Dear RE Families,

IT IS MAY!!  It sure does feel like May outside today too!  Maybe spring has sprung!? I hope you can all get outside and enjoy the gorgeous day God gave us.  

It is kind of a bittersweet weekend for me and probably many of our 2nd grade/Hoy's Halos students and families.  This would have been our parish's First Communion weekend.  I know these students in our parish will be in my prayers this weekend and I can't wait to make arrangements to have them receive the most holy Eucharist for the first time as soon as we can make arrangements and gather back together.  Say an extra prayer for these young ones this weekend.

Our lessons this week are:
Grades 1 and 3-6 = Ascension and Pentecost Unit (front section of book)
      **Ascension happens on May 21 and Pentecost occurs on May 31 this year
Grade 2 = Chapter 22
Grade 7 = Chapter 19
Grade 8 = Chapter 20

I have loved seeing the pictures sent in from some of our families of the students doing their weekly lessons.  It warms my heart and always brings a smile to my face!  If you take any pictures while doing your lesson, feel free to send them in to us at this email!

The Fireside Chat from last week came out after the weekly news was sent.  If you missed it, you can watch it at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP1I8V80X4E.  Fr. Tom takes you into a little known place in the Church, the bride's room and the Maintenance Director tells you about the changes going on in the school building and Church.  

As a reminder, we are registering students for the 2020-2021 RE year.  This would be for all students who attend public school or are home-schooled that would be in grades 1-8.  The registration form is attached and it can also be found on the parish website.  I have attached it as a Word document, so you can just fill it out by deleting the lines and filling in your information, save it to your desktop as your students name when completed, then email us back--at this email-- and attach it to the email note.  We will print it off and get it filed for the upcoming year.  No payments need to be made at this time.  We will send those out at a later date.

Also, attached to this is our calendar for 2020-2021 RE year.  This is pretty much set, but please note there could be some changes, however at this time, I don't foresee any.  Our first RE class is scheduled for the Monday after Labor Day weekend, just like usual! 

As a reminder, Vacation Bible School is has been canceled for this summer.  We know many families enjoy this ministry, but due to the current state of affairs, we just can't hold it. Save the date for VBS 2021, June 14-17, 2021.

Continue to check the St. Charles website (stcfw.org) for more information, read the current bulletin, and all Religious Education updates/info.  

To the current 7th grader preparing for Confirmation this fall, be creative with your service hours during this time!   Look around your neighborhood and see how you can be of service to those in need.  Does a neighbor need yard work done?  Mow the lawn?  Pull weeds in a flower bed?  Mulch for them?  Does the neighborhood playground need some sprucing up?  Can you make and send cards to a local nursing home to cheer up the residents?  We do understand that many local agencies are not allowing and can't have service done at this time, so be creative and look around your neighborhood and see how you can be of service to your neighbor! 

Continued thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you navigate through these times!  We miss you all!
Blessings, 
Amy Johns

________________

April 24, 2020

Dear Friends and Families,

Well, another week went by and we are still Hoosiers hunkering at home! :)  I hope this finds you all well and staying healthy!  I hope your Easter celebration is continuing to in the midst of these 50 days.  As I write this today, the sun is out, the birds are chirping, and bunnies are chasing each other in my backyard!  It definitely feels like Easter and springtime, a contrast from the snow that we had last Friday!  I guess that is living in Indiana!

Our lessons this week are the following:
Grades 1 and 3-6 = Chapter 21
Grade 2 =  Chapter 15
Grade 7 = Chapter 18
Grade 8 = Chapter 19

Thank you to all our parents who are continuing the religious education and lessons with your students.  We appreciate the effort and quality time you are giving them to continue learning about God!  I love all the pictures that have been sent to me too!  If you can, feel free to send me a picture of your kids doing their lesson-- those emails warm my heart and makes me smile to see their faces! 

Fr. Tom and Fr. James are still doing their Fireside Chats.  Last week's came out late Friday, so it didn't make it in our weekly update.  I included last week's chat here if you didn't get a chance to see it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttbEpahAeo4  It takes you into the rectory and the new chapel that Fr. Tom worked on---he is quite the woodworker!!  Another hidden talent of our pastor. 

Join Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades for a livestream All-Schools Mass on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages by searching for “@diocesefwsb.” For other livestream liturgies and more, visit www.diocesefwsb.org/covid-19.

Participate in a livestream Sunday Mass with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades every Sunday at 10 a.m. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.” Other Mass options, diocesan directives, and more can be found at www.diocesefwsb.org/covid-19.  

Stay safe and healthy!  Hope you can get out and enjoy the beautiful day God gave us!  We miss you all and know that our prayers are with you!
Amy Johns

_______________

April 17, 2020

Dear RE Families,

It is April and today it is snowing!?  What?!  Hope you are all having a wonderful Easter season!  While it may not feel very "springy" outside, hopefully the Easter joy is in your house as you are hunkering down!

We are officially over a month into the shut down and I can't tell you enough how much I miss our RE family!  Monday nights are just not the same without seeing those bright, happy faces!  Please pass along our thoughts and prayers to your children.  We truly miss our kiddos!

This week, we would have been back to normal chapters in the text!  Please cover the following chapter and related activities in the book with your child(ren).

Grades 1 and 3-6 = Chapter 20
Grade 2 = Chapter 14
Grade 7 = Chapter 17
Grade 8 = Chapter 18

Thank you to all of you returned registrations via email already!  I have attached the 2020-2021 registration form to this email as well and it can be found on the parish website.  It is a Word document, so if you want, delete the line and type in your information.  We can then print them off!  The costs for next year is the same as in the past too--1 child is $70, 2 children is $130, and 3+ is $190.  Registration forms help us with planning and ordering purposes for next RE year.

Participate in a livestream Mass with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades every Sunday at 10 a.m. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.” Other Mass options, diocesan directives, and more can be found at www.diocesefwsb.org/covid-19.  On TV you can watch Masses at:

Fort Wayne area:

  • 7 a.m.: WPTA 21.3 (MyTV) | Frontier 9, 509 | Comcast 252, 1024, 1172 | DirecTV 22
  • 10 a.m.: WISE CW 33.1 | Frontier 6, 506 | Comcast 19, 1033 |  DirecTV 33 | Dish 34
  • The 10:30 a.m. Mass with WFFT-55 is no longer offered.

This Sunday, is Divine Mercy Sunday!  It is always the weekend following Easter.  It started when Our Lord appeared in visions to St. Faustina.  It is a lot of fun to learn more about this event!  Check out this link to learn more and share some activities that might be fun to do at home:  https://mycatholickids.com/divine-mercy-sunday-greatest-gift/

 
Have a wonderful, snowy weekend!
Amy Johns

_________________

April 10, 2020

Good Friday

Dear RE Families,

Hope your Holy Week has been a blessed one and although Easter will be quite a different celebration this weekend, know that my prayers and thoughts are with all of you as our Lord rises from the dead! 

Easter is the holiest of all feast days in our Church.  A big celebration and full of joy, while this year, we cannot gather as a church family or even with our extended family, celebrate and remember that the tomb is empty, Christ is risen! He saved us!  Be sure to go to Mass this weekend, there are many options online, and join the happiness that Easter brings.

One of those options is with Bishop Rhoades in the celebration of Masses/services this weekend.  Again, here is the schedule of Masses and the links to access them.  Spend some time in prayer!

·  April 10: Good Friday Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at 1 p.m.

·  April 11: Easter Vigil Mass at 9 p.m.

·  April 12: Easter Sunday Mass at 10 a.m.

If you missed Stations of the Cross last Friday night, the video is posted on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MlyDbpx7TY).  You can watch it and pray along anytime.  I was able to join in on Friday and at one point over 500 people were online praying together.  It was remarkable to think that while we are so far apart, we are united through technology praying together.  The images are beautiful and remind us the importance of this time.

As I sent out last week, the parish is putting together a weekly "Fireside Chat" so the second installment is here!  If you haven't watched it yet, check out the message from Fr. Tom and learn about what is going on with Youth Ministry in the parish!  Watch and listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luZL1dOpRk4

For our weekly lesson this week, we have the Easter chapter, also found in the seasons section in the front of the textbook.  It is another short one, but is a great reminder of this holiest of all days.  Here are the lessons for this week:

Grades 1 and 3-7 = Easter Chapter

Grade 2 = Chapter 13 and Easter Chapter

Grade 8 = Chapter 17 and Easter Chapter

In addition to the chapter, we would have had some type of supplemental activities as well.  This site has a variety of Easter activities/crafts you can do at home to enhance the information in the book.  Check it out at:  https://www.sadlier.com/religion/blog/11-easter-resources-to-use-with-catholic-children-liturgical-year.or for crafts try https://www.catholicicing.com/religious-easter-craft-for-kids-make/?fbclid=IwAR34rS_v8HcCYYoW8IMNnuEJ68kK1XZSi46xp0KesAm4JQjZXArexkwe_UY.

Prayers to you all during this most blessed, holy weekend and during the Easter season that we will continue to celebrate for the next 50 days in our liturgical year!

Christ is (nearly) Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Amy Johns

________________

April 3, 2020

Dear RE Families,

Hopefully this finds you all well and healthy!  I hope you are all hanging in there too!  This was such a strange Spring Break week, but hopefully you all made the best of this current situation.  

Yesterday, it was stated that schools will remain closed for the rest of this school year...bummer!  So, that means we won't get to meet as an RE family the rest of this school year either.  As plans are made, when we can get back together in group settings, we will notify you all of those activities, especially regarding First Communion!

As a reminder, our very own Bishop Rhoades will be leading the Stations of the Cross today at 7pm.  Try join in him in this most meaningful prayer.  All are encouraged to "join in this great prayer which our diocese will offer up to the Lord for an end to the coronavirus epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself." -Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.”  

It is weird we are heading into Holy Week without any services/Masses in our Church.  Thankfully, we have so many inventive people and parishes that we can participate from our home in this most holiest of weeks.  The schedule below was put out by the Diocese about the livestream of the Masses during Holy Week.  During this time, prayer is the most powerful thing we can do!  

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To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages by searching for “@diocesefwsb.” These liturgies will also be broadcast on Redeemer Radio. Other Holy Week opportunities can be found at diocesefwsb.org/holyweek

Parish fliers and social media graphics to promote Holy Week liturgies can be found here.

We hope you all take a few moments to learn about this week we are entering, as well.  In all of our textbooks, there is a Holy Week chapter, it is short, but it goes through the importance of this week!  Sit down this week and discuss it with your child.  This chapter can be found in the "Seasons" section in the front of the text.  If you have multiple children, they can learn from each other as the chapters are different in each text by grade too.  I hope all our students will take time to reflect on this most holy week!

As we head into Palm Sunday this weekend, we recall Jesus entering the city being welcomed by people waving palm branches.  Since we won't have actual palms in our hands at this time, the following palm activity is a neat one to make palms in the home.  Get out those water colors and have fun as a family--no water colors, use crayons, markers, or colored pencils!  https://www.catholicicing.com/printable-palms-for-palm-sunday-free/?fbclid=IwAR11-g4NZZ-di239AAAbOyZUe50LYjocHsuKqb8qF_XPlFY5WqKV9vKpk_c

Registration for 2020-2021 is attached.  We usually send this home with the students, but this year, that isn't possible!  So, I kept it as a Word document so you can delete the lines and type in the information.  Simply attach it to an email back to us.  No payment is needed at this time for next year, but the registration form will help us plan supplies.  Costs remain the same again thanks to our awesome parish--$70 for one child, $130 for two children, and $190 for three or more!  

All of these notes and the registration form can be found on the parish website too!  Click on Faith Formation from the drop down menu and then click on Children's Religious Education.  Please know our catechists, assistants, and all of the St. Charles staff and community are in prayer with you during this time.  

Blessings,
Amy Johns

_______________________

March 27, 2020

Dear RE Families,

Well, another week has gone by!  While still being quarantined in the home or as our governor put it "hunkering down" at home, I hope you have found some light in this time---family time!  Hopefully you have talked, played games, gotten outside when the weather permits, and spent time with the Lord in prayer.  I know I am starting to get a little stir crazy, but I am still trying to find the good points in all of this--getting to read books that have piled up, praying and going to Mass through live streaming, innovative ways to do eLearning and support students/staff at my high school, and Face Timing, lots of Face Time with family and friends!

Know that I think of all of our RE students and families daily--especially on Monday nights when we should be in class together.  I hope you are all healthy and hanging in there!  Know that your whole RE family (catechists, assistants, our priests, Lisa, and myself) are thinking of you all!  You are in our prayers!

This week, spend some time learning about the Faith!  This is the lesson that would have been taught--take time to go through the links with ideas to learn more about this season.  We are getting closer and closer to Holy Week and Easter during this Lenten season, continue to learn and grow in our great Catholic Faith!

Lessons for this week:
Grades 1-6 = Lenten Activity this week.  Check out some of the sites below to learn more about this most special season!

Grade 7 = Do a Lenten activity--You would have done Theology of the Body Chapter 5, but we will move that to your 8th grade year to cover.  Go through the Power Point in #2 below.

Grade 8 = Chapter 16

Lenten Ideas:
1.  Activities:  https://www.sadlier.com/religion/blog/celebrating-the-liturgical-year-with-your-students-teaching-about-lent
2.  Power Point to Learn About Lent, just read through and learn:   http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/loyolapress-2061433-making-lent-simple-easy/
3.  Other Activities:  https://www.thereligionteacher.com/lent-activities/

Thank you to those in 7th grade that got me your Confirmation Sponsor Certificates by the 23rd due date.  I have a pile of them printed and ready to be recorded.  However, I still have several missing.  If you are one that I don't have, please be sure to follow up with your sponsor!  I need those in--while I know your sponsor can't take it to their church, they can still send it via email to their church.  If they are a St. Charles parishioner, they only need to fill out the top portion above the stars and return to us in the RE office.  Mailing directions are at the top of the certificate.  This is the first thing that needs to be done in this Confirmation process!

Today at 1pm EDT the pope will be giving a special papal extraordinary blessing for forgiveness.  Pope Francis announces extraordinary Blessing with the forgiveness of all sins TODAY, Friday, March 27, 2020.  After, prayers and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Pope Francis will give a special Blessing, with the possibility of gaining the forgiveness of all sins, the Plenary Indulgence, for all those who listen to it live at 1:00pm through the various forms of communication. 

It is possible to follow and receive the special Blessing on
Friday March 27th at 1 PM (EST)
https://www.vaticangift.com/content/16-pope-francis-special-blessing-vatican-live

Participate in a live Stations of the Cross with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m. All are encouraged to "join in this great prayer which our diocese will offer up to the Lord for an end to the coronavirus epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself." -Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.”

While we can't participate in the Mass together as a Church community right now, we can go to Mass with Bishop.  Participate in a livestream Mass with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades every Sunday at 10 a.m. To join, visit the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend YouTube or Facebook pages. Search “@diocesefwsb.”  Other Mass options, diocesan directives, and more can be found at www.diocesefwsb.org/covid-19.  Many other local priests/Churches are streaming Masses as well.  Below is the prayer for spiritual communion.

Other TV Mass options:

  • 7 am: WPTA 21.3 (MyTV) | Frontier 9, 509 | Comcast 252, 1024, 1172 | DirecTV 22
  • 10 am: WISE CW 33.1 | Frontier  6, 506 | Comcast 19, 1033 |  DirecTV 33 | Dish 34
  • 10:30 am through April 12: WFFT 55 | Frontier 5 | Comcast 12 unnamed.png?Revision=gHD&Timestamp=fWvzG0

Continue to hang in there!  Prayers and thoughts are with you all!

Blessings,
Amy Johns

_____________________________________________________________

March 20, 2020

Weekly Faith Lesson

Dear RE Families,

During this crazy time of turmoil, confusion, and anxiety, I hope you are relying on your faith to get you through it!  Prayer is such a powerful tool and I know if we all storm heaven with our prayers, we can overcome this pandemic that has taken over in our world.  It was wonderful yesterday to join in the worldwide rosary with Pope Francis--it allowed me time to pray and be quiet with God.  Praying the rosary is a great way to take that daily "breather" to be with God.

At this time, Governor Holcomb has closed all schools through May 1, meaning we, in Religious Education, would only be able to come back for our May 4 class.  It is my hope we will get to see our RE kiddos before the end of the school year!  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I  know many of you have questions regarding First Communion.  I talked to Fr. Tom today and we will come up with a schedule of how to finish the curriculum, do bread making, have a banner making, and practice reception of Communion, once we get cleared to gather back together.  To date, the students have covered the parts of the Mass, but there are many other components to completing the preparation for First Communion that we would like to finish with the students.  It is on our minds and more information will come once we have a clearer picture as to when we can return to normal operations and after consult with the teachers.  So, as for now, the May 3 original First Communion date is canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date.  

For those in 7th grade preparing for Confirmation, just a reminder that your sponsor certificate is due Monday, March 23.  Please follow up with your sponsor to make sure he/she turned it in.  They can email, drop it in the mail, or fax it to us.  Contact info is on the top of the certificate.  Check the attachment on Monday's email if you need a new certificate.

Also 7th graders, we will be teaching the Theology of the Body, chapters 5-8 in the spring of 2021.  So....do not lose your book!!  Keep it in a safe spot to return to the RE office in the fall to hold on to it until you need it in 8th grade. 

In addition to adjusting plans and our calendar, we do still want the RE children to continue to grow and learn about the faith.  Since we can't attend Mass in person at this time, it might be great to use that Sunday Mass time to continue your child's religious studies by reading and doing the activities in the chapter together!  Each Friday, I will send an email out to all of our RE families with a note and the chapter to work on for the week.  This will keep your child continuing through their religion curriculum and keeping them prepared for next year.  I will also post this email in our newsletter section on the parish website.

So, without further delay....here is this week's chapters!  Set aside time to spend learning with God!
Grades 1 and 3-6 = Chapter 19
Grade 2 = Chapter 21
Grade 7 = Chapter 16 (regular book)
**KEEP YOUR TOB BOOK IN A SAFE SPOT TO BRING BACK IN FALL**
Grade 8 = Chapter 15

I will send another note next Friday!  Know that my prayers are with you all!  Stay safe, healthy, and keep those Lenten promises!
Amy Johns