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FaithSparks

Advent: A Time for Patient Waiting, Not Holiday Rushing
By Liza Roach Christmas is right around the corner. Do you feel like I do – behind already?  You have to make sure the house is decorated, the crèche is out for all to see, the Christmas tree is up in all its glory, the wreath on the door looks festive and inviting, and let’s not forget buying presents for everyone you know in the world!  Overwhelmed enough yet?  We can’t forget to take the perfect family picture for the all-important Christmas Card!  If yours looks like mine, the dog is licking my face as I am reaching down to pick ...

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advent, FaithSparks
Teaching Children the Art of Joyful Giving
By Mary-Jo McLaughlin Do you recall as a child viewing commercials of famine-stricken children in Africa while watching Saturday morning cartoons? Seeing those pictures, how many of us were compelled to break open the piggy bank and send money to charities hoping to ease the guilt of having more than those hungry children? I remember trick-or-treating with the orange UNICEF box, asking for donations for those same starving children. I guess it eased some guilt I was experiencing by overindulging in candy while children around the world were suffering. One Halloween, ...

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Norwich, FaithSparks
Accompanying our Youth on Their Faith Journey
New Curriculum Involves Accompanying Our Youth by Andrea Hoisl  “Walking with our youth in faith is dependent upon our trust in the Holy Spirit – trusting that it will take us where we need to go – closer to Christ,” said Fr. Frank Donio, director of the Catholic Apostolate Center in Washington, D.C.,  at a recent presentation to catechists, catechetical leaders and parents in the diocese.  Here is the complete video of Fr. Donio's Talk- Accompanying our Youth on their Faith Journey The topic of Fr. Donio&r...

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Fr.FrankDonio, Curriculum, FaithSparks, HolyFamily
Everyday Blessings Recognize God’s Gifts to Us
By Andrea Hoisl Blessings are words that express gratitude for something or show God’s favor. What does the word “bless” actually mean? In Hebrew, the root means “to increase” or “bring down Divine abundance.” So if I bless you, I am asking God to increase your well-being, happiness, or circumstances – in essence, to give you more of Himself. In a world where there is so much going on, we often forget to take time to recognize and acknowledge the many blessings in our lives. Those can include the times when God has given...

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Family Prayer Teaches Valuable Life Lessons
by Mary-Jo McLaughlin Is family prayer a part of your family’s life? I have vivid memories as a child kneeling beside my family as we prayed the Rosary. I would look out the window and see neighborhood children playing in their yards and I longed to be with them. Instead, I was cooped up inside participating in something that I saw as little more than a burdensome chore. When I was 11 years old, my mother died and family life as we knew it changed drastically. So many activities that we once did as a family were gone, the family rosary among them. It’s ...

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New Column Aims to Spark Faith Among Families
By Mary-Jo McLaughlin Faith Sparks…. Ignite Your Faith is a new column that the office of Faith Events (OFE) will premier in the August issue of the Four County Catholic to help engage parents, grandparents and families in their faith. “One of the focuses of our new Diocesan faith formation curriculum is to get adults involved in learning more about their faith along with their children,” said Andrea Hoisl, OFE director. “This new column will help people become more aware of the nuances of their faith so that they in turn may be a living witne...

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