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Connections

In "Connections" we share various information about parish life at Holy Eucharist

“…that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1John:1-3

In March, the members of our strategic planning team (Father Andrew, Deacon Joe, Mary Warner and Dottie Connelly) attended the Amazing Parish Conference. This gathering was a practical and one –of –a-kind experience! They received first-hand organization health training from New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, and dynamic speakers Matthew Kelly, Curtis Martin, Tom Corcoran and Father Michael White. The conference experiences were also an opportunity for personal and spiritual renewal with daily Mass, confession and Eucharistic Adoration.

Unlike other conferences, the Amazing Parish Conference was a workshop-style format so pastors and parish team members could work side-by-side to learn what a real leadership team looks like, how it operates and how it can be serve its parishioners. By the end of the conference, the team gained a lot of knowledge and insight and had a clear, practical vision of what leadership can look like in the parish and how to implement it.

Father Andrew shared an extensive overview of the conference to the staff at their weekly staff meeting this past Monday.

On February 15, six of our staff members along with Father Andrew attended a diocesan workshop titled "Loss, Change and Resilience in Communities of Faith." The daylong event, was sponsored by the diocesan Department of Pastoral Planning in support of the reorganization taking place in the Diocese based on the Faith in our Future decisions recently announced by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

"We are at a time in the Church's life where the pace of change is overwhelming and can feel dizzying," said workshop presenter Dr. Melissa M. Kelley to an audience of nearly 200 pastoral ministers, clergy and parish staff. "The more sensitive to loss we can be, the more responsive we can be."

Terry Ginther, executive director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, noted that changes in leadership and staff, challenging financial circumstances and shifting demographics have prompted the need for parish linkages, mergers and other changes. "We are facing a lot of change in the Church and our parishes," said Ginther. "People could use a little professional support, and this speaker shared ways parishes can cope with change."

You can read more about the workshop in a story from The Monitor

ParishSOFT Conference:

In the beginning of October, Father Andrew, Tina Fenton, Mary Warner and Dottie Connelly attended the ParishSoft Us-er’s Conference. Each year, more than 300 parish and diocesan staff from across the United States and beyond gather for this conference. We learned about new technology, gained in-depth knowledge of ParishSOFT software with hands-on labs, and were re-energized for our ministry at Holy Eucharist. Where the Church and tech converge—that’s a powerful place! The Church, with the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the best and most powerful tools humankind has to offer, can truly achieve great things. Connecting people and our parish ParishSOFT program helps us to streamline our operations, foster collaboration and improve communication. We are now ready to put all we learned into practice as we continue our mission to grow disciples at Holy Eucharist.

Spotlight on our HOPE Ministry:

The mission of the HOPE Program is to serve our senior parishioners by helping with as many of the more demanding tasks and trials of their lives as possible. Services include: transportation, companionship, socialization, respite care, grocery shopping, and telephone reassurance.

In 2015, our HOPE ministry provided transportation to 105 clients. They received 130 calls from clients. The office made 310 weekly reassurance calls to clients and condolence calls to nearest relative of the deceased. Condolence calls are made 4 times during the first year after the funeral. Our volunteers logged 588 hours of service to our senior community.

Our HOPE ministry is desperately in need of drivers. You can volunteer as little or as much as you are able. This is a beautiful ministry that serves our parish community – please consider sharing your time. For more information call Pat Gordon 609 268 1818

Volunteers are available in the HOPE office to receive calls and provide assistance Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon. At other times a message can be left on the answering machine and a volunteer will return the call the next working day. 609 268 1818

A special thanks to Ministry leader Pat Gordon and her team of ministers. Your work in our faith community is much appreciated.

TRED, ( Trenton Religious Education Directors), is a diocesan group that gathers throughout the year to share resources and experiences regarding faith formation. Donna Remaley, our Faith Formation Coordinator, is part of that group and with others, attended a “ Relax and Renew” retreat last week at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, NJ. With a theme of hope, joy and pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy, the retreat offered an opportunity for prayer and fellowship shared with others in similar roles in parishes throughout the Diocese. The Diocesan office of Evangelization and Catechesis offers many spiritual and educational enrichment opportunities for those in faith formation ministries strengthening the office’s mission statement to “form disciples to bring others to Christ.” Visit http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/evangelization-catechesis/ to learn more.

Why message series?

Beginning in Advent 2016, we introduced messages series – “Expect Miracles” for Advent, “The Story of

Your Life” for the New Year, “Awaken” for Lent, "180°” for the Easter season, and now “Comparison

Trap.” . A message series is an approach to preaching that explores a single theme over the course of

multiple weekends. It encourages people to come back and hear the rest of the message. Message series

help build “momentum,” as we say. It doesn’t leave people guessing what you will say, and even encourages people to invite someone to church if there’s something they know someone needs to hear. A series helps us focus on the purpose of a message: life-change. Message series are designed to be relevant and practical and relate to the Sunday readings as well. We hope our message series touch your heart and

provide the inspiration to grow in your faith. You can read past messages on our website.

First Eucharist Preparation - "A symphony of faith"

Calendar Planning: In April,members of our staff met to establish the parish calendar for the coming year through June 2017. Dates for liturgical events, faith formation and sacrament preparation programs were set along with other key parish events. Lasting several hours, the meeting was full of challenges and discussion as we set dates for over 70 gatherings. While a bit exhausting, we were happy to complete the task and sharefellowship and pizza following!

We now have the framework for our ministries to submit meeting requests for the coming year. Requests can be made and the current calendar can be viewed at

http://holyeucharist.org/#/mass-times-and-calendar/parish-calendar.

Wednesday prayer: Our staff takes time to comes together in prayer at morning mass. We humbly pray that our Lord, Jesus will guide us in serving Him on the pathway He calls us to follow for our work in the parish. We offer prayers for the needs of our faith community and offer thanksgiving for the many gifts God has bestowed upon our parish . A very special way to start our day!

Staff Meetings: Each week on Monday, our parish staff gathers for a meeting. We begin with prayer, then Father Andrew leads us in an open discussion about the “wins” and “opportunities” from the previous weekend. We talk about the liturgy, operations, ministries and share any experiences from the weekend. We then look at the coming weekend discussing any special circumstances or planning needed. Each member of staff then has an opportunity to update others on their activities and concerns. The team is often also given books or articles to read on various church themes or processes. Time is taken during staff meeting to discuss these resources and how they can be used in strengthening our parish vision. We are truly blessed to have a team built on mutual respect where we can share ideas without fear of conflict and together work towards building God’s kingdom at Holy Eucharist.

Education for Catechetical Leaders: The mission of the diocesan office of Catechesis is to support life-long growth in faith for children, youth and leaders to help them grow as disciples. Many of our Holy Eucharist group and ministry leaders including those involved in family faith formation, children’s word, sacrament preparation and youth ministry have participated in:

Formation Days - offered twice a year

Certificate in Catechesis– offered to all in faith formation part of which is through an online program through University of Notre Dame. Several of our group leaders have obtained this certification and many hope to gain certification in the future.

Scholarships - The Bishop Reiss Scholarship funds courses in theology or a related ministry field. Any catechist, teacher or a catechetical leader may apply. Scholarships are awarded annually.

Convocation of Catechetical Leaders - The Department of Evangelization and Catechesis convenes the parish catechetical leaders for an annual gathering.

Trenton Religious Education Directors - T.R.E.D. is an organization made up of parish catechetical leaders (Directors, Coordinators, or Administrators of Religious Education). The purpose of the organization is to provide professional support to catechetical leaders and a communication link with the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis. Our faith formation coordinator, Donna Remaley, attends these gatherings.

We congratulate our many faith formation ministers for continuing their education and growing spiritually through these diocesan programs. For more information visit http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/catechesis/

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