December Faith Formation Update

Happy New Year! Yes, you are reading this correctly. Sunday begins a new church year! The 1st Sunday of Advent begins another year
in the life of the Catholic Church. We are so blessed to be Catholic!

Advent is not Christmas. Although Christmas preparations have begun, and the stores have been decorated for months, and radio stations have been playing nonstop Christmas music, in our Catholic Christian faith we celebrate Advent first and then Christmas.

Advent is such a beautiful time in the life of the Catholic family. There are so many wonderful traditions to help the family journey through the Advent Season. The most recognizable is the Advent Wreath and Advent Calendar. There is also the lesser known, but very engaging Jesse Tree.  And there is a new advent tradition called the Shepherd’s Treasure. It’s like the Elf on the Shelf but with a faith focus. It uses a Shepherd instead of an Elf, and every day as the shepherd moves around there is a scripture verse that is placed with the shepherd. So many great ways for the family to enjoy Advent and make it a real journey to Christmas Day!

As parents and grandparents, we need some quiet time for ourselves so that we can get the most out of Advent. Dynamic Catholic has a daily advent email called The Best Advent Ever. There are advent prayer books and other online advent focused prayer spaces to help adults slow down and engage with the season of Advent. Below are some links to Advent focused prayer options.

Finally, there is a great opportunity for parents to gather with other parents and talk about raising children in the faith at a Parent Dinner Gathering with a talk entitled: Raising Christmas Expectations with a Creche. The FREE dinner and talk are Thursday December 6 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall. See attached flyer for more information! Registration ends on Monday.

Happy Advent!

Carlo Stebbings

Director of Faith Formation


Faith Formation News for December

Important News

Starting January 1st, the Faith Formation office will no longer be at Sacred Heart Church. The office is moving to St. Mary’s. There are two offices to serve your needs: St. Joseph School and St. Mary’s. The main phone number will stay the same. You can also call St. Mary’s or SJS and ask for Faith Formation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.  

Mark your Calendars!


Monthly Family Session is Saturday December 1, 4:30pm at St. Mary’s!

Option: Student attends Handle’s Messiah on December 5th at 7:30pm at St. Mary’s, write a 1 paragraph reflection about your experience hearing the Messiah and turn in a program for credit

No January Monthly Family Gathering!

***Students in grades 6-8 who are registered for the monthly/summer program can attend an EDGE gathering in place of the Saturday gathering.


Upcoming Large Group Gatherings

Saturday December 1st at 4:30pm at St. Mary’s

Sunday January 20th at 11:00am at St Mary’s


Weekly Programs (K-5th)

No Classes on December 23, 24 or 30, 31! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

EDGE Middle School Youth Ministry (6th-8th grade)

          Sunday morning 8:45am-10:00am OR Monday 6:30pm-8:00pm at St. Joseph School

2/3- Harvest!

9/10-Always Burning!

16/17- Advent Celebration!

22/23 and 30/31- No meetings!


EMMAUS High School Youth Ministry (9th-12th)

          Sundays from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Youth Room at St. Joseph School

December 9-The Universal Call to Prayer

January 6- Epiphany Party!



Year 1- December 3 and 17 at 6:30pm!

Year 2- December 2 and 16 at 6:30pm!

Confirmation Service Opportunities

Dec 8- 1st Penance Retreat; 9:30am-Noon at Sacred Heart- Let Carlo know if you can volunteer.

Dec 16- Cookie and Poinsettia Delivery from Sacred Heart Church. We need people before 10:30am Mass to package the cookies and then after Mass to deliver everything. We also need people to bake the cookies. They can be dropped off on Friday to the parish hall or Saturday or Sunday before Mass


Dec 21- St. Alphonsus Church Christmas Decorating; 6:30pm-7:30pm. For more information contact Mary at 315-515-8935


1st Penance

Lesson 6 at home.

Retreat on Saturday December 8. 9:30am-noon at Sacred Heart Church

December 15- Reconciliation Day!

1:00pm at Saint Alphonsus Church

2:45pm at Sacred Heart Church meet in church

3:00pm for Saints Mary & Martha at Saint Francis

3:30pm at Saint Mary’s Church

Links to online Advent Activities


Dynamic Catholic:

Busted Halo:

Holy Heroes Advent Adventure: