ENCOUNTER VISION STATEMENT:
The religious education program of St. Mary's Church will work to increase the interest and enhance communication within our community of parishioners and young people by providing interactive and cooperative learning opportunities emphasizing the basics of our Catholic faith.
To support parents in their role as primary educators of their children. To teach Jesus Christ, our Savior and Model of Christian life.
To provide opportunities for diverse prayer forms calling students to open their hearts to God's presence and activity.
To develop a strong sense of belonging to the parish family, as evidenced by participation in Sunday Mass and other parish celebrations.
To prepare families for their children's first reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, and Eucharist, thereby fostering moments of adult faith development.
To work with youth in preparing spiritually and doctrinally for the Sacrament of Confirmation while developing a habit of service to others and commitment to worship and community.
To offer opportunities for adult faith development
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
“In the early Church, the faithful were prepared for the Church in a space called the “atrium.” Just so, when children are prepared for the church community, an atrium should be prepared for them. This place is not a place of religious instruction, but of conversion. It should be a place of spiritual retreat for children. A place of prayer, in which work and study spontaneously become meditation and contemplation. A place in which the only Teacher is Christ and both children and adults listen to His Word. A place where themes from the Bible and liturgy are used as fundamental sources for nourishing the child in his/her most vital religious needs. A place in which the Eucharist is central to the life of the atrium.” - The US Association of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
"...by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed." CCC 1285
Confirmation will be held at St. Mary's in Spring of 2022. Preparation to be a candidate for this sacrament is open to baptized Catholics, 10 years of age or older who are committed, or will commit, to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This includes regular attendance at Sunday Mass, regular confession and a desire to deepen the life of prayer.
"Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands" CCC1309
In an attempt to meet the needs of the families of the parish, Confirmation preparation class has been changed - it will now be part of ENCOUNTER, which meets on Wednesdays, beginning September 15 with a family meal. Students and parents will be asked to commit to fully participate in the preparation process. To register contact the rectory, or use the Registration form link below.
This fall, we are excited to offer again Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to children 3 to 6 years of age from September - May. There will be ONLY a Wednesday evening session from 6:00pm-7:15pm. There will be a size limitation to each session and spots will be reserved on a first come basis. Registration forms can be found by the entrances and are due back by August 16th. Please contact Miriam Daro for more information. Miriamgthorn@gmail.com or 402-367-5116
Adult Catechesis (RCIA) Study:
All Catholics are invited to participate in our RCIA study of the Catholic Faith on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in the Didier Room. Each week will cover a different topic of our Catholic Faith and will be taught by Fr. Buhman, Fr. Kain, and/or Sr. Mary. There will be plenty of opportunity for Q&A. All are welcome!
All non-Catholics in our parish are cordially invited to participate in a small group study of the teachings of the Catholic Church. The study will take place on Wednesday evenings, beginning on September 8th, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, in the Didier room which is attached to Aquinas Elementary (St. Mary's) school. Those who participate in the study may request to enter the Catholic Church at Easter and this study will serve as the necessary preparation. However, becoming a Catholic is not necessary nor expected. By attending each week there is no commitment made to enter the Catholic Church. All are welcome!