First of all, we are always very sorry, if anyone at L.I.G.H.T. does not get their fill on any given night. Certainly, we want you all to enjoy your meal and to have enough to eat. With that being said, it is a HUGE challenge to make sure we order the proper amount as we strive for our program to be as accommodating as possible to the ever-changing schedules of today’s family life. For many years, we’ve had too much food. The local shelters have benefitted from this fact (which is a great thing!), but our budget cannot accommodate this surplus every month. It is not practical from a purely financial standpoint.
So last year, we slowly cut back our amounts until we were reasonably close to the number of meals that we needed to feed everyone. Unfortunately, when we do that, and when people have to change their LIGHT night at the last minute, we still find that we end up with too much food one night, and not enough on the other. SO, what can we all do to help the situation?
On our part, we will continue to carefully monitor the numbers as we order the food each month. On your part, you can begin by signing up for the L.I.G.H.T. night that makes the most sense for your family. And then if you have to change it, that is ok! But please do your best to let us know of your changes as soon as you can. Our numbers need to be set about three days before our first gathering, so any last minute changes you make mean that our food numbers will be off. The following note will be sent to you and copied to me for any changes within the three day window. (And remember, that’s three days from the first L.I.G.H.T. night).
“Thank you for your L.I.G.H.T. night change. The food numbers have already been submitted, but we will do our best to accommodate your family’s need. We look forward to seeing you!”
Typically, for each change from a Friday to a Tuesday, we also get a change from a Tuesday to a Friday, so things tend to balance themselves out. I just want us all to be aware that this possibility does exist for us to be tight with food if this balance does not occur.
Remember, you can make your changes easily with a link from the webpage: http://scplightinfo.weebly.com/change-my-light-night.html Using this form you can change the number attending or your L.I.G.H.T. night, either for the year or just for the month.
The other way you can let us know if via e-mail. This year please use: email@example.com to make your changes.
Some more news, Pat Fleury will no longer be taking care of our record keeping for the program. We’d like to thank her for a job VERY WELL DONE and hope that she enjoys a break from this particular L.I.G.H.T. volunteer position (though you’ll still see her handiwork on the bulletin boards around the parish!)
Julie Cox will now be in charge of our record keeping and can be contacted at the e-mail above if you have any questions or concerns. We welcome Julie to this role and thank her for sharing her time with the program in this new way!
Thank you all for your help with this issue. Working together, hopefully we can eliminate some of the problems from years’ past and be good stewards of our resources.
See you at Church!
Thank you to everyone who has already filled out the online registration for Mini-LIGHT which is coming up in less than two weeks! If you have not completed the form, it takes less than 30 seconds! I promise! Just visit :
Thanks for clicking this link today!. The food needs to be ordered for this event, so your timely response is appreciated!
Today’s L.I.G.H.T. program reflections make me think of what was written on a t-shirt that I received last summer a fundraiser for cancer that I was participating in. The shirt boasts “It’s not a challenge if it doesn't change you” and that is certainly true of participation in our L.I.G.H.T. program. It certainly is a challenge in many ways to be a L.I.G.H.T. family member. We all commit our time and our presence to being a part of our parish’s Faith Formation process. One evaluation sums it up nicely by saying “When we come together to learn in this way we discover our strengths and weaknesses and support each other’s ability to grow in our faith and to realize that we are never alone with Jesus.” This is where the change comes in. We have all been changed by our participation in L.I.G.H.T. in one way or another. The change each of you have experienced on a personal level has hopefully changed you for the better.
As we go into the new season, this might be a good time to reflect on these changes:
Have you grown closer to God?
Do you have a deeper understanding of our Catholic Faith?
Has your prayer life changed?
What shifts in your family’s priorities have occured?
And of course this leads us ALL to ask:
What am I still missing?
What more can I do?
What are my goals for my faith during the months ahead?
Remember, our Family Faith Formation model is set up so that we BEGIN the conversation at L.I.G.H.T. But it is (perhaps even more) important, to CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION at home throughout the month. The E-thoughts that you receive via e-mail and our L.I.G.H.T. website http://scplight.weebly.com/ are two ways to help you continue that conversation. If there are other ways that you would like our help with this, please drop me a note at LIGHT@stcat.necoxmail.com.
I’d like to leave you with this thought from another one of our year-end evaluations: "The program is at times demanding because it is three hours after a day of work, and I think this demand enhances the program because it challenges us – it makes it real. " Back to the fact that L.I.G.H.T. can be challenging. I’m quite sure it’s a challenge that we’re all ready for. Imagine that changes that will result!!
Have a great Monday everyone!
See you in Church!
Good Morning L.I.G.H.T. Families,
Today we’ll talk a little bit about meeting the needs of all of our youngest L.I.G.H.T. Family Members. The comment that is our starting point for this conversation is: the opening is a bit over the head of the young ones.
One of the biggest challenges that we have as we design each Gathering is attempting to meet the needs of the varying age levels in the program. We have been trying new ways to do this and feel as if we are moving closer to a model that works for the majority. Last season, we began to offer an alternative group activity for our Pre-Sacrament and Sacrament kids when the opening content called for it. This allowed us to be able to present the material to them at their own level while at the same time making room for a more in-depth conversation to occur at the tables in their absence. We’ll continue to try this approach when it makes sense as we move into the new L.I.G.H.T. season.
It is important for us to remember that one of the premises of the Family Faith Formation approach is for parents to be working with their students in order to discover their faith together. If at any point you feel as if your child is lost during an activity or presentation, you are welcomed and encouraged to work with them to help them understand the topic at hand. If you ever need any help with this, you just need to ask. We invite you to voice the concern to us so it can be addressed right away (if your child is lost, it is likely that others feel the same way). Or if you feel it would be best to talk to us privately at the end of the night, we will be more than happy to listen to suggestions that you might have to improve the experience for your family (and likely for others as well). We can accommodate your needs in various ways, both inside the program and by helping you with extra resources to use at home to continue the conversation.
The beauty of approaching our faith with our families was nicely summed up by this last PLUS for the day: Making faith-life connections for young people is key to them acting on it in the real world. That is why we are all here, and I look forward to making more of these connections with you starting next month!
See you in Church,
P.S. DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER FOR MINI-LIGHT ASAP AT http://scplightinfo.weebly.com/sign-up-now-13-14-minilight-gathering.html
and IF SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY NEEDS A VEGETARIAN OPTION FOR THE MEAL, PLEASE DROP ME A NOTE AT LIGHT@stcat.necoxmail.com
As we mentioned last week, we will be adding one and a half sessions to our L.I.G.H.T. calendar for the year in order to accommodate the loss of time we have together as a result of our shortened Gathering nights. The ‘half’ session will take place during the first full weekend of September. We ask that you join us for either Saturday evening Mass on September 7th (5pm) or Sunday morning Mass on September 8th (11:30am).
After Mass we will join together in the hall for a meal straight from the grill to celebrate the last days of summer! We will take care of all of our paperwork, including registration and payment . [You can pay the entire $150 family fee at once or break it up into payments that are manageable for your budget.] We will present some program logistics and introduce the topic for the year with a fun, interactive activity .
Please RSVP to this event online by completing this very short form. http://scplightinfo.weebly.com/sign-up-now-13-14-minilight-gathering.html
If you are a new family, you can also fill out the online “New Family Registration form” so that we’ll have your records ready to go when you arrive at our Mini-L.I.G.H.T. Gathering. That can be found here: http://scplightinfo.weebly.com/new-family-registration.html
These forms will take just a minute to complete, so get them done now and then we will all be ready to begin another fantastic L.I.G.H.T. season together!
See you at Church!
Last time we talked about following in Jesus’ footsteps as we strive to live in Right Relationship with society around us. Following Jesus is always a smart choice! Obviously! In fact, it is something that we do in a special way here at St. Catherine Parish.
As we all know, our Family Faith Formation program is quite unique. We are one of a handful of parishes in the state that uses an Inter-generational approach. It is a method that is truly modeled after the way that Jesus taught: We learn together. We use language, images, and ideas that are relevant to our community. We try to make it accessible to everyone, and as if all that were not enough, we try to make it fun.
The following comments are a testament to the success that we do have in this regard.
* This program is creative and amazing
* Lots of information is expressed on all levels
* The creative lessons and the enthusiastic people make this church very special
* L.I.G.H.T. is a good way to focus on things that are really important
We thank you for this compliments, but hope that you know that we could not do it without your input and your participation. Each family that makes up our community is important and special. You all bring your own gifts and experiences to our evenings together. This is where our true success lies.
Family Faith Formation is certainly not an approach that is for everyone, but we are so glad that you all feel that it is for you. If you know other families who might enjoy learning about the Catholic faith in this way, please invite them to join us. You can share this last PLUS of the day with them if it will help “Coming to L.I.G.H.T. forces me to take a ‘break’ from my stressful life to focus on my faith. Thank you!”
Thank YOU all!
See you in Church,
Over the course of the five years that our L.I.G.H.T. program has been in existence, we have covered five of the ‘six pillars’ of our faith: Church Year, Sacraments, Morality, Creed, and Prayer. This year, we will look at the last pillar – Social Justice. Following this planning structure, we are able to insure that all of the important elements of our faith are presented and discussed over a six year cycle. And when this cycle starts again from the beginning, we will spiral back and look at each of these topics again, looking at things from a different angle and deepening our understanding and our faith along the way. This process is reflected in a PLUS from our year-end evaluations: I have a better understanding of the ‘church.’ I think that it is safe to say that we all do!
But, happily, some of you are calling for even more. One evaluator writes: Some tougher subjects should be discussed (contraception, homosexuality, hypocrisies within the church) and another asks for Guest Speakers. We can guarantee that this year we will look at those tougher subjects, some of those listed and many others. And we will work on the Guest Speakers!
Our theme of Social Justice is a great opportunity to discuss topics that are considered to be ‘tough’ as described. We will be approaching the subject of faith through the lens of “Right Relationships.” In some of his early notes to the planning group, Father Friedrichs describes JUSTICE in this way:
For the Christian, (justice) means to stand in right relationship with God and others in the manner that Jesus did. To be just means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who was in right relationship with his Father, with himself, with others and with all creation.
Following in the Footsteps of Jesus, seems simple, but as we will all find out, it is a big challenge. I think its one that we are all up to taking!
Have a good afternoon everyone!
See you in Church,
Good Morning L.I.G.H.T. Friends!
Today we’ll explore the topic of Community Building as we look at your next few PLUSES and a MINUS.
Let’s get that minus out of the way first, one friend writes: I would prefer dinner to be at home as it is sometimes difficult to arrive on time.
Juggling family, work, and all of our other obligations are not easy, but that is precisely one of the reasons WHY we offer dinner, so you have one less thing to do at home. You can just concentrate on getting to the Gathering and relaxing for a few minutes before we begin our Conversation of the month.
Dinner has other benefits as well, as some of your write:
*I like getting to know our church family.
*It makes me feel a part of something.
*I get to meet new people.
*It’s nice to sit next to someone different every month.
Beginning Conversations about our faith are one of the strengths of the Family Faith Formation process, but another important aspect of L.I.G.H.T. is building our Community. That is what the comments above are referring to. As Catholics, our faith is not meant to be lived, practiced, or celebrated privately . Our church is a community by design. God called us to Him in that way, as his Chosen People from the Old Testament, as the early followers of Christ (the disciples), and as the members of the church from the very beginning right up until today. Our Faith Formation program is a reflection of this reality.
So for the L.I.G.H.T. family member who wrote: I like the ‘soft start’ social side of the first 30 minutes, enjoy your dinner! The social side is here to stay!
See you in Church!
Each year in the program evaluations we hear echoes of these critiques:
L.I.G.H.T. is too long.
Can we end a little earlier?
The night should conclude in the church with prayer.
So, here it is friends! We have heard you and change is coming. To accommodate your requests for shorter sessions, while still following diocesan directives, we will be shortening the length of each Gathering night! Here is the new format:
Tuesdays 5:30 – 8p
Fridays 6 – 8:30p
In order to make up the time somewhere, we will be adding one and a half gatherings to the schedule. This means that Gatherings will typically be four weeks apart, but there will be a few instances where there is a shorter period of time between L.I.G.H.T. weeks. You can find the full schedule on our website using this link:
Another administrative note, with the additional programming comes additional meals and materials. To that end, the fee structure for the program will remain the same ($15 per family per session). But with the additional sessions, the total fee for the year will end up being $150 per family. You’ll note that in order to simplify the payment process, we are no longer separating the fee into food and materials – but rather, it is now one entity.
As always, if you have a need for a payment plan, we are more than happy to accommodate your requests. And if financial aid would be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Kelly or Father. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.
I will be letting you know more about our upcoming year in the days ahead. For now, if you have any questions or concerns about the calendar and fees, please do let me know!
Have a great night!
See you in Church!
Today’s Evaluation focus is interesting as we are hearing the same message come across to us from students, from parents, and from teachers.
The feedback from students includes:
* Kids should be more respectful
* Class can get a little out of control
* Some kids won’t be quiet
* Kids get in trouble
Parents weigh in: There are disruptive participants in the class
And those teachers that got such raves in our last E-Thought, and are so generous with their time and talent are frustrated. One wrote: we need a way to lessen student’s improper behavior.
This problem is not new; the same situation existed when our program was ‘traditional.’ It is not just a reality for us; it happens everywhere. But that does not make it right, in fact, we need to hold ourselves to a much higher standard than most. To improve this situation is a major goal of the parish staff and the L.I.G.H.T. Core Team for the upcoming year.
So how do we do that?
First off, let me say, that we have some AWESOME kids in our program. They are smart, funny, interesting, compassionate, and more than capable of the kind of behavior that we are talking about here. We’ve all seen how great they can be. The problem comes when certain combinations of kids get together, and when others don’t feel like being cooperative on a given night.
Kids are forgetting where they are at. They are forgetting what their focus is supposed to be. Even though we try to develop an inviting atmosphere at L.I.G.H.T. where we can grow in our faith in an engaging way, we are still in the house of God. We are still in a community that expects us all to live up to the kind of behavior that is worthy of a follower of Christ. We are always expected to treat one another with kindness and respect. This goes for our peers, our parents, and for the teachers who (again) are SO GENEROUS with their time and their talents.
This year’s theme is going to play right in to how we will address this behavior. We will be looking at “Right Relationships” (I’ll tell you more about that soon!) For now, suffice to say, that we will start off the year right – by setting our expectations clearly out there and reminding everyone of how we need to treat one another in our L.I.G.H.T. Right Relationships.
We will ask students to be monitoring their own behavior and helping their friends to do the same. We will ask parents to be checking in with their students to see how things are going and to help us make sure behavior is up to standard. We will ask teachers to maintain clear expectations of classroom behavior right from the start. If anyone is not living up to their L.I.G.H.T. Right Relationship, we ask that the staff is notified right away so we can take care of any issues and not let them get out of hand.
YES, our teachers can most certainly ‘handle’ a lot. But they shouldn’t have to. They spend their free time preparing for their lessons and sharing their faith with our kids. They should be able to do this in an atmosphere that is reflective of a community that follows Jesus.
Thank you all for your help with this situation. Together, we can make our community even better than it already is. I am looking forward to our upcoming L.I.G.H.T. season and to reconnecting with everyone once again. The upcoming e-thoughts will be talking about some big changes to the logistics of our programming, so stay tuned!
Until then! Have a fabulous day!
See you at Church!