Parish Preparation

On average, 80% of students who attend confirmation classes this year will loose their faith before college.  The folks at Dynamic Catholic have created a fantastic program that aims to present the faith in new and compelling ways – and it’s free! Click here to access Decision Point .

Students attending Catholic School will receive some preparation for the sacrament as part of their religion curriculum.  The Decision Point program is being used by our parish as additional at home preparation.  Children who do not attend Catholic school are asked to complete the program in it’s entirety.

Why “at home” preparation?

According to the data conducted in 2003 by the National Study of Youth and Religion : “No other conceivable causal influence … comes remotely close to matching the influence of parents on the religious faith and practices of youth”* Youth ministry, clergy, service projects or religious schools simply pale in comparison to the influence parents provide.

So it is asked that at least one parent (though the whole family is invited) to watch the short Decision Point videos together and discuss the questions in the student workbook together.

Guidelines / Timeline for Preparation:

There are 12 “sessions” or chapters – each with 6 short videos.  Each family can choose how to divide up the program according to their own family schedules. It is recommended that you watch and personally respond to all the videos rather than only the ones that require a response but watching the intro is usually sufficient context for the video with a question.  The “video requiring a response” will be indicated by this icon:   Please respond through our parish Flocknote.

(Sessions 1 & 2) have already been completed by Dec 17th 2015

3. The Jesus Question:  Jan 3 – Jan 9   Looking for Judas 3.intro (video)

a) Reflection:  John the Baptist said “He (Jesus) must increase and I must decrease”.  Becoming the best version of ourselves can seem like a hard road on our own.  It is with Jesus that we become the best version of ourselves.  Do we really know Him – the living risen Jesus Christ? Or is Jesus just an idea, a concept, a far –away God?  Jesus wants us to know Him personally.  He wants a relationship with you just like the relationship he had with his disciples.  This is why we need to pray daily – not just prayers that are written for us – but a quiet conversation with God using our own words.

b) Question: In what small way can you improve your relationship with Jesus today?  Give a concrete example/action you can make.  Challenge yourself to do this small action daily.

4. Prayer: Jan 10 – Jan 16   The Big Question 4.2 (video)

Reflection:  Why Pray?  The answer is actually very simple: because you want to be happy.  If there is a God, and if that God has a plan for your life, then trying to find happiness outside of that plan is impossible.  Discovering God’s beautiful plan for your life is essential to your happiness-and should be your highest priority.  It’s easy to look at your life and say “I have other priorities”, but a day will come in your life when you’ll realize that everything you thought was important is second to discovering God’s plan for your life.  The sooner that day comes, the better your life will be.  If we are afraid, it is helpful to remember that God desires our ultimate happiness – and He has the power to bring it about.

Question: Today’s question is not a question but a challenge:  every day this week – take 5-10 minute out of your day, to find a quiet place, (in your home, out in nature or in a church) and ask God:

“Jesus I believe in you, help my unbelief.  Jesus I trust you, help me when I don’t trust.  Jesus, I know you want my happiness … show me your plan for my life… even if it is just the next step.”

5. The Bible: Jan 17 – Jan 23    How should I use the Bible? 5.3 (video)

Reflection: The Bible is not just another book.  It’s the Word of God.  We hear that a lot but do we know what it really means? For one thing, words have value based on who speaks them. If you knew someone who was always telling lies and they told you something – even if it was true – you would not be likely to believe them because you know they have a habit of lying.  In the Bible – we have God’s words.  God is Truth – so we can take God at His word.  Here’s the mysterious thing about the Bible: It has the power to transform our lives.  God wants to transform you and your life.  Too often when we pray, we pray for tweaking.  We want God to tweak this and to tweak that.  But God is not interested in tweaking.  God is in the business of transformation.  The truth is that your greatest happiness depends on discovering God’s will for your life.  The Bible leads us to God’s mysterious and fabulous plan for your life – it’s not just another book.  It can help you on your journey.

Question: Try out the “prayer process” Matthew Kelly describes in the video with Matthew chapter 6 : (Matthieu 6 en francais) .

  1. Pray to be open to what God wants to say to you
  2. Read the chapter,
  3. Write down the word or words that speaks to you / jumps out at you.
  4. Have a conversation with God about it.

                What word or phrase spoke to you?  Share the word or phrase to Flocknote.

6. Relationships: Jan 24 – Jan 30    What is love? 6.3  (video)

7. The Eucharist:  Jan 31 – Feb 6    The Epidemic 7.intro   (video)

8. The Holy Spirit: Feb 7 – Feb 13   Unopened Gifts 8.2   (video)

9. The Church:  Feb 14 – Feb 20  One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic 9.2  (video)

10. Confirmation: Feb 21 – Feb 27    What is Confirmation? 10.1   (video)

11. Made for Mission: Feb 28 – March 5    Everything is Connected 11.intro  (video)

12. Holiness is Possible: March 6 – March 12   The Holy Moment 12.1  (video)

Spring Break March 14-18

March 20 – 25 : work on letter to Fr. Bob requesting confirmation and giving personal reasons as to why you are seeking the sacrament.  Letters can be handwritten (if handwriting / printing is legible) otherwise they should be typed.  These can be handed in to your school teacher or dropped of at the Parish office no later than 4PM March 29, 2016 .  It should be sufficiently long to qualify as a personal letter but need not be a novel (or longer than a page).  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND SCHOOL on the letter.