A Catholic community comprising the churches of St. Martha's, Kennebunk, St. Mary's, Wells, and All Saints Mission, Ogunquit, Maine
Faith Formation endeavors in our parish shall support and strengthen the work of the Spirit to:
nurture a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
foster an ever-deepening understanding of the Gospel
build on the Traditions of our Catholic faith
We will serve the parish by providing opportunities to foster a sense of spiritual vitality for all age levels. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, these efforts will lead to wisdom, as well as personal and social transformation.
Welcome back to another academic year of Youth Faith Formation!
A link to the Faith Formation Family Handbook and registration materials for 2017-2018 is provided below. Please take a moment to review the academic calendar, and perhaps add some of the dates for special programs and/or Masses to your family calendar. Hopefully the handbook will answer many of your Office of Lifelong Faith Formation questions, but please feel free to contact Carolyn Houston with any additional questions, or concerns.
It is the philosophy of the parish that parents are the primary teachers of their children, and the parish supports that role. The most important means of support is through the celebration of weekly Mass, when the community comes together to nurture one another and to be nourished by Jesus Christ through his Word and his Body. For some families, involving their children in children’s Liturgy of the Word, or having them assist at Mass, has helped in strengthening a sense of belonging and ownership in the Mass in their children. Nurturing our parish children’s friendship with Jesus is the ultimate aim of youth Faith Formation, and the parish will provide various service, prayer, and educational opportunities to help children better understand who Jesus is, and what Jesus has called us all to do.
LENTEN FAITH FORMATION NEWS
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14. In many of our faith formation classes, the children will be learning about the three pillars of Lent - prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Lent is a time of internal preparation, reconciliation, and reflection, and there are many ways we can help our children learn about, and experience, “prayer, fasting and almsgiving” in ways that might be meaningful for her/him. Families might commit to reading out of the (children's) Bible each day, attend Friday Stations of the Cross together, or engage in a service project as a family. The CRS Rice Bowl has long been a successful Lenten tradition in our parish. The Rice Bowls can be a terrific teaching tool for children learning about fasting (sacrifice) and almsgiving. Many families have a tradition of giving something up for Lent. Perhaps whatever is spent on the item being given up for Lent could be put into the Rice Bowl. We know our children best, so perhaps we can ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on what would be the most helpful activities for them. Few things speak louder to a child about the importance of an event or season than a family's involvement in it.
Knowing that special time set aside for renewal and exploration of one's faith is especially helpful during Lent, our 5th & 6th graders will have their Faith Break retreat on February 25, and our 7th & 8th graders will gather with other junior high-school kids in southern Maine for their Middle School Rally retreat on March 4. If your child is in one of these grade levels, and you have not received an email from me about their retreat event, please let me know at your earliest convenience.
The Live Stations of the Cross are a Lenten tradition that our junior high school classes have provided for our parish for many years. After every presentation of the Live Stations, parishioners have remarked on how powerful the experience was for them, and how surprised they were to feel that way. The Live Stations of the Cross will be held at St. Mary's on Friday, March 23, at 6:30pm, followed by a Simple Supper served by our senior high school class. Please mark your calendars, and plan on joining other parish families for this wonderful Lenten event.
I hope that your Lenten season is a holy and healthy one. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
In Christ, Carolyn Houston
"Shipwrecked - Rescued by Jesus" Vacation Bible School
“Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus” vacation Bible school will be held at St. Mary’s in Wells this summer, 9am – noon, from August 6th through August 10th. Your children (ages 4 and up) will venture to an unchartered island where they will discover the truth that Jesus carries them through life's storms! Children will have a blast with fun activities, games, yummy snacks, great music, hands-on experiments and crafts, service, and learning more about the Bible. If there is enough interest indicated by July 15th, we may offer an 8am drop-off for parents who need to get to work before VBS starts. Pre-registration is required, and forms are available in the offices of both church sites, and on the parish website. For more information (or to volunteer), please contact the parish director of faith formation, Carolyn Houston, at 646-5605, 985-6252 or Carolyn.Houston@portlanddiocese.org.