Parents & Families
The parish community of St. Anthony/All Saints believes strongly that parents are the primary teachers of their children. We take our role as supporters of parents very seriously and strive to give parents the necessary resources to raise their children within the church and faith community.
All of our Sacramental Preparation is family-centered. It includes classes for parents as well as candidates for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. The direct teaching for these Sacraments takes place in the home, with the parents instructing their children. All this is in accordance with the church’s teaching on “ecclesia domestica”—the church of the home. Weekly celebration of Eucharist and cultural celebrations highlight the gift of children and family.
In addition, whole families meet together twice a year for “family events.” These are coordinated during the CCD time frame and include CCD families, as well as Catholic School families. As families, we explore various catechetical topics and share “table fellowship” in a party-like atmosphere. In the past we have explored such topics as: The Law of Love, Missions, Baptism & Vocation, Pentecost & the Early Church, Epiphany, The Liturgical Year & Advent, Mary & the Rosary, etc.
Parents and families are kept informed about parish activities and the curriculum in the atriums through a monthly newsletter called “The Good Shepherd Gazette.” It features a calendar of events, pictures from current events, information about the Good Shepherd Catechesis, and suggestions for strengthening faith in the home.
Special Events for Children and Families
The Thanksgiving family Mass takes place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The Liturgy is a community celebration highlighting the many gifts we have been given by God. Special songs, prayers, and meditations give the liturgy a community and celebratory feel. The Youth group gathers together following the Mass for a pizza party and bowling. The Hope Group gathers for dinner before Mass and takes on a special role in the liturgy.
The Feast day of St. Nicholas is December 6th. St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century and was the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Each year on the Sunday closet to December 6th the children in the atriums celebrate St. Nicholas Day by putting out their shoes and enjoying a visit from St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas (a father of one of the children) goes around to all atriums, blesses the children and catechists and leaves treats in their shoes.
Children and families are welcomed back to CCD after the Christmas break with an Epiphany celebration. This celebration varies from year to year, but is designed to celebrate the revelation of Jesus to the world and strengthen family and community ties.
Parents and children participate together with prayer, activities, songs, dramas, and much, much food!!
Children in the atrium environments re-enact the Last Supper on Palm Sunday. The primary objective is to mediate on the events of the Last Supper and their connection to the Eucharistic Celebration of Mass. Although the celebrations vary in each atrium, each celebration involves ritual elements, a reading of the Scripture Narrative, and a meditative response by the children.
The Liturgy of Light is celebrated in the atriums on a Sunday during the Easter Season. Based on the Liturgy of Light from the Easter Vigil Liturgy, this event celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and the presence of the Light of Christ in our lives. Children decorate a Christ candle for their atrium to be used throughout the year. A procession with the “Light” highlights the community involvement and the illumination of Christ to all people. A reading of the Easter Gospel sets the stage for the gift of the “Light of Christ” to each one of us. Children are called forth by name to receive the light from the Easter Candle. Songs and meditation give the celebration a liturgical feel and highlight the joyful nature of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
A Pentecost celebration closes out the CCD year. During this celebration the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are highlighted. The children and catechists spend time in reflection on the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Candles are lit to represent these seven gifts and the Pentecost Narrative is proclaimed. Children are called forth to light a candle from the gift they most desire in their lives.
Feast Day Celebration
The annual Feast Day Celebration takes place the second Sunday in June. It is designed to honor the patron of our building, St. Anthony, as well as celebrate faith, community, tradition, and diversity. The day begins with a procession through the streets carrying the statue of St. Anthony, followed by an outdoor Mass, which is always visited by Fr. Tom’s puppets: Simon, Gracie, and Joshua. The day continues with lots of food, fellowship, music, games and activities, and Eucharistic Adoration. Our children and youth are highlighted with many activities and games for their enjoyment.
Family Event “Mission and Mercy”
Children’s Mass October 2016