Mass Times

Saturday 5:30 p.m. 

Sunday 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Week Day Mass 9:00 a.m.

Monday to Thursday

Confession

Saturdays 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

or By Appointment

 

Wednesday
Jul312019

Lifelong Faith Formation

Dear Parents and Guardians: When you brought your child/children to the church for their Baptism, you received and accepted the responsibility of raising them in the Roman Catholic Faith.  This is your loving response in thanksgiving to God for the incredible gift of life God has entrusted to you. 

You have carried out this serious responsibility in many ways over the years.  You have taught your children their prayers.  You have told them the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas and how He loved us so much that He suffered, died and rose again at Easter for our Salvation.  You have taught them about forgiveness, concern and care for others, especially those less fortunate than us.  You have witnessed to them so many aspects of our Catholic Faith by the way you live and share your lives at home each day.

To further deepen their understanding of our Catholic Faith, you have enrolled them in our Faith Formation program.  It is vitally important that you support and reinforce the efforts of our Faith Formation Program by attending an adult Formation weekly class as well.  As a parent or guardian, you must make the weekly attendance at the Faith Formation classes a top priority in your child’s life as well as yours, since learning about our faith is a lifelong process. I am very pleased and proud of our Faith Formation staff and the many volunteer Catechists who so diligently want to assist you in passing on our Catholic Faith.  We have you and your children in a Faith Formation class or activity approximately thirty-nine hours the entire year! Sports, music, art, scouting and other activities should be planned around your Faith Formation classes.  I trust that every Catholic parent and guardian wants have a solid foundation based on God with which they will build their lives on and that each parent would like to hand that solid faith on to their children.

As the Most Holy Eucharist is the center and pinnacle of Catholic life, it is most important that your family participate in Sunday Mass each week and Holy Days of Obligation throughout the year.  Sunday Mass and daily prayer are a critical part of every Catholic’s life.  This is certainly a huge part of our integrity as Christians that we practice what we preach and teach.

I pray that in the coming months you and your children will grow in wisdom, grace and faith as you come to know Jesus better and deepen your understanding and appreciation of our Catholic Faith.  My most fervent desire is that you all will develop an intimate, personal relationship and connection with God.

Wednesday
Jul242019

The Role of the Laity in Evangelization

On an average weekend here at Holy Cross we have about 300 families attending Mass. Not a groundbreaking number but one we as a staff respect because it is our job to evangelize every member of those families, not just the children. The role of those who are not ordained ministers must be exposed to reveal that our job as the laity is just as important and vital as those who preach from the pulpit. Frankly becuase you can only evanglize so much from a sermon or a homily. The role of the laity is to evangelize in secular society. In schools, offices, restaurants, shopping centers, grocery stores, and even on the roads we drive. The role of the laity is to evangelize to the public, not just by our example but by our words as well. 

How can the average lay person do this if they are not outwarding sharing their faith or even worse, if they don't know thier faith well enough to share it? We need to focus on the role of the laity in the Church when it comes to explicit word and deed evangelization. The Church needs the voice of the laity to speak up! Priests can’t go into your office and nuns can’t go into your friend’s house. We are the ones that must carry the Gospel into our homes, schools, jobs, and public places. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church referencing Lumen Gentium – 

 “All Baptized and Confirmed Catholics are “strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”

The words "Strictly Obliged" means that this is not a request but a command. We are required to do this on a regular basis. This may be hard if we are not actively working on our relationship with the Lord. By actively working on a relationship, I mean pursuing the Holy, as if your life depended on it, because, let's face it... Our eternal life does depend on it. Pursuing the Lord means to ingage in conversation (Pray), spending time getting to know Him (reading Scripture or taking a Faith Formation Class). Listening to Him (spending time in Adoration or silence). Pursuing God as you would persue some one you would like to date. That excited and engaged feeling of wanting to be with that person all the time, getting to know who they are, how they think and feel about life and becoming part of their life in return. 

Do we treat the Holy with this type of anticipation or excitement? We need to! I challenge you to pursue God in this way and to engage the Holy on a deeper level this week. Try to channel that part of you that was younger and excited about getting to know someone new, getting to know someone better. Invest your time in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

Wednesday
Jul172019

Adult Evangelization is a Process, not a Program

Congregations are often stuck offering Adult Faith Formation programs that reflect past patterns of learning—typically such patterns resemble a college religion elective, a classroom with the minister as professor and the congregants as students. Part of our task as Evangelization leaders is to help the congregation switch from an optional program / spiritual expertise model to understanding adult formation as a life-long learning process that includes developing a new language, new community, intentional mission and vision, open communication, flexible goals, supporting leadership, and welcoming conflict. Essentially, Adult Formation provides support for a way of life initiated by baptism or conversion.

The New Testament insists that we are a new community—one based on gifts, equality, and shared responsibility for God's mission to the world. But too often, we import secular patterns of leadership and management into the church. Some secular expertise is helpful in church administration and overall leadership development. At its heart, however, congregations are communities of transformation—places where people come to encounter God and know God more deeply.

The congregation that believes in Evangelization is responsible for communicating a vision of this reality and helping people live into it. If adult education is NOT a program to attend, what is it? It is a process by which people grow in faith, learn to mentor others in faith, and practice Christianity in the world. Holy Cross Parish is not creating an audience for theology, Bible study, or spirituality. We are working towards providing an environment in which the basics of Christian life and growth can happen. Adult education is not optional. Adult formation is the gathering and strengthening place for learning to be a Christian, for mentoring others in faith, and for practicing faith corporately. It is the heartbeat of churchgoing in the twenty-first century. The community that understands adult formation in this way has made giant strides toward understanding Christian community. In settings of exploration, we learn to learn—pursuing, no matter our age or spiritual maturity, the deeper life of faith in God. Anyone who seriously engages this task knows that spirituality is life-long learning, a quest that drives the entirety of life. And anyone who has spent time learning also knows that excellence in learning comes through teaching. One never really learns something until one teaches it. Being a learner means being a mentor, one who learns, teaches and shapes the lives of those coming along the path.

Wednesday
Jul102019

Coaching Parents to Form Their Own Children

Almost every active adult Catholic is active because his or her parents had faith. Their faith did not come from a textbook, no matter how excellent it may have been. It came from the witness, "faith talk," and practices that went on in the home. However, over the past 50+ years this passing of the faith from generation to generation has slowed or stopped. Parents have come to believe that it is the parish and catechists' job to pass the faith on to children. Many parents don't know their faith well enough to teach it or feel ill equipped to pass it on because of lack of confidence.

As statistics clearly show, this model is not working. If the parents are not in the process, the child will not have faith. We must coach the parents to form their own children in order to have formation that lasts a lifetime. By forming their own children, the parents themselves are formed more deeply in their own faith. We must, therefore, form a real partnership between parish and household. That partnership needs parent and-child-friendly resources, coaching, and support.

Church teaching reinforces the primary role of parents in catechesis using strong words:

·         “Parents have the first responsibility (CCC, #2223)

·         “The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.” (Vatican II, Declaration on Christian Education, #3)

·         “The right and duty irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.” (John Paul II, On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, #36)

Parents tend to remain absent as long as we agree to form their kids for them. They drop off their kids at class and go shopping, have coffee or just sit in their vehicles on their phones. However, we feel that as a parish we need to clarify to parents what their role really is, empower them to fulfill it, and coach them along the way, they rise to the occasion! Parents want to do this, and they love doing it once they understand how. Helping this happen requires a real shift in our expectations and how we structure our faith formation programs.

Wednesday
Jul032019

Why Faith Formation for Adults is Vitally Important

The work of evangelization always begins at "home." This means first the "home" of our own hearts and then the "home" of our parish. The first stage of evangelization, then, is always one's own being evangelized, through a personal commitment to a life of continual conversion in Christ through the life of the Church. This work that takes place inward, spills over into a call to conversion in the parish, where those who are actively practicing their faith must hear and accept the invitation to an ever deeper life of intamacy with Christ. This is the very heart of Evangelization.

It is for this reason, that adult faith formation is an indespensable part of evangelization. Those who wish to evangelize, must first commit themselves to growth and maturity in their own life of faith so that the truth they communicate remains authentic and convincing, rooted and grounded in Christ.