F3 Messages

Hello Family Faith Formation Families. This page provides me a place to communicate messages without having to depend on the accuracy of email addresses! I will provide the messages in reverse chronological order, so the newest will always be on top.

 

Tuesday, May 18: END OF PROGRAM YEAR ANNOUNCEMENTS

While Mr. H. will make these announcements during the final Church Session tonight and tomorrow, here's the text for your review.

An End of Year "Jubilee"

What's a Jubilee?

from Wikipedia: In the Catholic Church, a jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In Leviticus, a jubilee year (Hebrew: יובל‎ āl) is mentioned to occur every 50th year, during which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

In Western Christianity, the tradition dates to 1300, when Pope Boniface VIII convoked a holy year, following which ordinary jubilees have generally been celebrated every 25 or 50 years, with extraordinary jubilees in addition depending on need. The Catholic Church declared the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy for 2015–2016.

End-of-Year Jubilee

Thus, by the power invested in me as Director of Faith Formation for St. Andrew Church, I'm declaring an End-of-Year Jubilee in which our May 18/19 Church Sessions will bring the year to a close and cancel the debts of any May and June Home Sessions, allowing the mercy of God to flow freely into our families during this stressful time of state testing, end of course exams, and the busy-ness that comes with the end of a school year. So to be clear: there will be NO May or June Home Sessions and NO Church Session in June.

 

A Reminder to Loved Families

My Loved Families, this jubilee only extends forward in time to cancel May and June, but not backward. What I mean: we will be conducting an audit of your participation during this first year of Sacrament Preparation to make sure that you have successfully completed enough of the program to move on to the Blessed program next school year. If you are missing anything (Home Sessions or Church Sessions), you will have until July 1 to either complete or make up those sessions. On July 1, I will be taking down this year's online lessons in preparation for the next program year. If you have questions about your participation, you can contact your Crew Catechist or Miss Jodi or I. For those with too much missing to continue to the Blessed program, we will contact you early in June to give you some time to make up what's missing.

 

An Invitation to All

Family Faith Formation (F3) will return next September and every family is invited to come back to us! Just because your child has received First Holy Communion, you can continue to grow in faith as a family through our Formed Crews, attending Church Sessions and watching Home Session videos together as a family. Registration for the next program year will take place in late August. Watch Church media (like the bulletin, website, Facebook or Instagram) for schedule and instructions for registering. If you were a Loved Family, you DO need to register again to enter the second year Blessed program for your children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion.

 

 

 

Sunday, April 18: FOR BLESSED FAMILIES ONLY

If you are in a Loved or Formed Family Crew (in other words, if your child is NOT preparing to receive First Holy Communion this May) you can ignore this message.

2021 First Holy Communion (FHC) Information Packet

Click here for the packet in English. Hace clic aquí para el paquete en español. You received a printed copy of this packet with your banner kit.

2021 FHC Retreat

Click here for the digital copy of the retreat.

April Home Session

The Home Session for April is live for Blessed families. Rather than overload you with too many requirements, I decided it would be more fair to only ask that you do one lesson at home in April before First Holy Communion (Book Session 4: The Eucharist). Thus, before First Holy Communion on May 8, you need to have completed book lessons 1-4 (of 6) and the retreat.

NOTE: In order for your child to be invited to Practice and First Holy Communion, you must complete the Turn Ins for the Home Sessions for January, March, and April AND the Family Reflection for the FHC Retreat BY MAY 1. If on May 1, your family has not completed these requirements, you will have to postpone your child's first Holy Communion until the summer at which time they can receive it privately at a chosen parish Mass.

Click here to visit the Home Sessions page to complete your April Home Session.

 

 

Tuesday, April 6: CHURCH SESSIONS CANCELLED

April 6/7 Church Sessions CANCELLED, do Home Sessions instead!

Dear Families, I'm afraid I have fallen a bit under the weather and need to cancel our Church Sessions scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night. I don't believe it to be pandemic-related, but rather asking more than my body could handle. (My body likes to keep me humble by reminding me that I'm not as young as I used to be and should be taking better care of myself in terms of diet and exercise!)

Since I was ridiculously late with the March Home Sessions, we encourage you to do those instead this week! April Home Sessions will be coming soon, so now's the right time to get caught up on any Home Sessions you haven't completed (not to mention, making up any Church Sessions that you might have missed as well).

 

Blessed Families Reminder - THIS APPLIES ONLY TO FHC FAMILIES

If you didn't already, please see the message just below this one (from April 3).

Since we are not having Church Sessions this week, we're asking ALL BLESSED FAMILIES to come pick up their FHC Banner Kit during Drive Up Pick Up:

DRIVE-UP PICK UP FOR ALL BLESSED FAMILIES:

Thursday 4/8, 4:00 -7:00 pm

Friday 4/9, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (office hours)

Sunday 4/11, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

RETREAT DEADLINE: Monday, April 19, 2021 (to submit the online Family Reflection)

 

 

 

Saturday, April 3: FOR BLESSED FAMILIES ONLY

If you are in a Loved or Formed Family Crew (in other words, if your child is NOT preparing to receive First Holy Communion this May) you can ignore this message.

2021 First Holy Communion (FHC) Information Packet

Click here for the packet in English.

Hace clic aquí para el paquete en español.

This packet contains information on practices, dress code, photography, and the FHC Retreat (see below).

2021 FHC Retreat

Click here for the digital copy of the retreat.

Print copies as well as the Banner Kit will be distributed at Church Sessions this upcoming week: April 6/7.

DRIVE-UP PICK UP FOR FAMILIES:

Thursday 4/8, 4:00 -7:00 pm

Friday 4/9, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (office hours)

Sunday 4/11, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

RETREAT DEADLINE: Monday, April 19, 2021 (to submit the online Family Reflection)

 

 

Wednesday, Mar 10:

March Calendar - 1st and 4th week

Hello F3 Families! Our next Church Session is March 23/24 (NOT next week due to Lee County's Spring Break). The rest of this week and next are good opportunities to make up any sessions you're missing (by visiting Church Virtuals here or Home Sessions here).

And as March has a fifth Tuesday and Wednesday, we skip a week after that before returning on April 6/7.

Complete program-specific calendars can be found here or a generic session calendar can be directly accessed here.

 

First Reconciliation Make Up

If your child is in a Blessed Crew (second year students receiving First Holy Communion this year) and missed the Saturday, Feb 6 First Reconciliation, click here for information on the easiest way for your child to receive this Sacrament.

 

 

Monday, Mar 1:

March Calendar - 1st and 4th week

Hello F3 Families! Our next Church Session is this week (March 2/3). Then (due to Lee County's Spring Break) we are taking two weeks off before our next session will be on March 23/24. And as March has a fifth Tuesday and Wednesday, we skip a week after that before returning on April 6/7.

Complete program-specific calendars can be found here or a generic session calendar can be directly accessed here.

 

Monthly Prayer Practice - Stations of the Cross

I also wanted to let everyone know that we will be praying the Stations of the Cross during our Church Sessions in March. I'll be giving a little introduction before we pray them.

ONLINE FAMILIES TAKE NOTE: For this prayer service, we will be using a handout that's available on the F3 Church Virtual pages (this handout). While I'll have a printed version for the in person families, I wanted to give the online families a chance to print it ahead of time, since it's laid out on the page in such a way that double side printing it allows one to fold it in half and it becomes a booklet. But just looking at the handout on a screen, it can be confusing. So if you're an online family and will be praying with us from home, I strongly recommend you print the sheet ahead of time. If you're unable to do that, make sure that you look at the handout ahead of time so you can follow along, jumping around on the handout.

I hope everyone is having a blessed Lent. See you soon!

 

Thursday, Jan 14:

Gratitude

First, let me say thank you to all of you who have offered prayers and condolences in the light of my father's passing. I will confess this is my first experience with a deep grief and navigating it is challenging. Your support means a great deal to me and represents what Church is meant to be. Thank you.

Calendar Reminder

I have posted updated Calendars here.

As we have NO Church Sessions in January, this month provides a unique opportunity for families to catch up on any sessions you haven't completed. If you missed any of the Church Sessions, you can make them up by watching the Facebook live stream recording and then completing the Digital Turn In, which can be found by clicking here and navigating to the missing session. Or if you haven't kept up with your Home Sessions, you can do so by clicking here and selecting the month next to your Family Crew. If you have any questions about which lessons you're missing, contact Mr. H. via email ([email protected]).

January Home Sessions

Home Sessions for January are now live and ready to complete! Sorry to be a bit late with them. In recognition both of the fact that half the month is gone and that many families may be catching up with other sessions, I'm only asking families to complete one Home Session in January. You can find it heremaking sure to choose the January link next to your Family Crew.

Participation Requirements

For any family in their first or second year of preparation for children to receive Sacraments, unless both Church Sessions and Home Sessions are completed in a reasonable amount of time, you will be dropped from our roster and asked to repeat the year, postponing the reception of Sacraments for the children. In order for children to be prepared, participation in both kinds of sessions (those in the Church and those done at Home) must be sufficient. At this time, our office is compiling a list of families whose participation has not been sufficient to continue and will be sending letters home. If you have a question about your family's participation, or need help in completing Home Sessions, contact Mr. H. immediately via email ([email protected]). Also please note: I prepared a series of videos here to help guide you in completing your Home Sessions.

As soon as the analysis of Blessed families' participation is complete, I will be making an announcement about our new First Reconciliation plans and dates. Thank you for your patience.

I hope January is finding you well and that you're able to take these next two weeks to catch up on your F3 participation as well as complete your January Home Sessions. Thank you for your commitment to the spiritual development of your family.

 

Tuesday, Dec 1:

First Reconciliation Postponed

Hello Blessed Crews (Goodness Crew, Generosity Crew, Gentleness Crew, Modesty Crew). If you are not in one of these crews, disregard this message. 

After checking who has completed their October and November Home Sessions (the First Reconciliation Lessons), as of this morning, less than 10 out of 50 families have finished the preparation for First Reconciliation. Due to so many families being behind in their lessons combined with the lack of time to catch up and no time to practice, I have decided to postpone the celebration that was originally scheduled for this Saturday, December 5.

NO First Reconciliation This Saturday, December 5

For those families who need more time to complete the lessons, you now have it. New First Reconciliation plans will be announced in the next few days, but they will be after the holidays in the new year.

For prepared families (who completed their lessons as requested), if you would like your child to receive the Sacrament this month, contact us ([email protected]) to make arrangements. We will honor your diligent work and make sure that your child makes their First Confession this month. If you do not mind waiting until the new year for a group experience, do nothing.

As Fr Eduardo has been out of town, I could not finalize new plans this morning. But as soon as plans are made, I will post a new message with all details.

 

 

Wednesday, Nov 25:

F3 Participation Reminder

Happy Thanksgiving from Mr. H, Miss Jodi and Miss Anne!

We hope this message finds you and your family healthy and enjoying your Thanksgiving break! We hope this week might provide a little extra time for your family to reconnect with and catch up on your Family Faith Formation work.

Remember, there are two main parts to participating in Family Faith Formation: Church Sessions and Home Sessions. For both parts, we ask you to complete what we call a Turn In, a form inviting you to reflect on and share with us your engagement with the program.

Home Sessions, as the name says, are done at home, following the directions / links on the F3 Home Sessions webpage (www.standrewrcc.org/f3homesessions) according to your Family Crew. Thus, all Turn Ins for Home Sessions are Digital Turn Ins (Google Forms) that you fill out online and submit through the internet. If you haven’t completed the ones for October and November, please do so now (with apologies to Formed Crews whose November session just went live!).

For Church Sessions, those who come in person fill out Turn Ins on paper. For those who join us online, or had to be absent from a Church Session but could watch the video of it later, we ask you to complete the Digital Turn In by clicking the link under the date on the Church Virtual Tuesdays page (www.standrewrcc.org/f3churchvirtualtuesdays) or Church Virtual Wednesdays page (www.standrewrcc.org/f3churchvirtualwednesdays). In the coming week, we will be contacting families with personalized emails about which Church Session Turn Ins are missing.

In December we will be auditing all families for participation. If a family has several Turn Ins missing (from either Home Sessions or Church Sessions) we will be in contact about continuing in the program.

We thank you for completing this work as a family (adults and children working together) and look forward to seeing you next week for our next Church Session.

God Bless,

Jerry “Mr. H.” Harrington

 

Wednesday, Nov 18:

Message #1 - for ALL BLESSED Families: Tomorrow Night's Parent Meeting Postponed

Dear Blessed Families,

Due to the raise in cases in our area and out of an abundance of caution for pubic health, we have decided to break the First Reconciliation Parish Celebration (scheduled for Saturday, December 5) into multiple events: one for the St Andrew School children, and one (or more) for Family Faith Formation children.

Because the details of these multiple events are still being worked out, it no longer makes sense to have one unified Parent Meeting (scheduled for tomorrow evening, Thursday 11/19 at 7pm). Thus, the Parent Meeting is postponedThere will be NO Parent Meeting tomorrow evening.

More information will be sent about when and how this meeting will be held in the near future.

I apologize for all the changes but rely on your flexibility and understanding in this crazy year of pandemic as we try to figure out what's best for everyone.

Jerry "Mr. H." Harrington

 

Message #2 - for Wednesday Families: Today's Church Session Cancelled

Hello Wednesday Families,

I apologize but must cancel tonight's Church Session. My father has been taken to the hospital and I don't know what happens next. Hopefully things are not too serious but must await tests and diagnosis.

Thus, I'm asking you, my Wednesday families, to all watch the recording of last night's Facebook live streamed video and complete the Digital Turn In for that session (like our virtual families do when watching live from home).

You can do this by clicking HERE.

Please be sure to open, complete, and submit the Digital Turn In (English or Spanish) for Wednesday, November 18 to 'get credit' for participating in this session. 

Not only is it important for you to do this for continuity and the content presented, but there's a special lesson in the middle of it that the Diocese mandates we offer to the children and about which we then must make report to the Diocese about how many received the lesson. So please participate tonight via the video and Digital Turn In.

Thank you for your flexibility and commitment to this program.

Jerry "Mr. H." Harrington

 

Friday, Nov 13:

November Home Sessions for Loved & Blessed Crews are Live

Families in Loved & Blessed Crews,

I apologize for the delay but November Home Sessions are now live! I ask that you complete them as best you can before the end of November. Hopefully, the Thanksgiving Break (a whole week off school) will provide some opportunity for everyone to catch up and complete these sessions.

Especially important for Blessed (Second Year FHC) Families: All six of the First Reconciliation Home Sessions need to be completed before the end of November, since First Reconciliation is scheduled for Saturday, December 5 and we want your kids prepared.

(Formed Crews, I will get them up next week, but because of the delay there will be only one for November for you.)

I made one change to the location of Home Sessions on the website: each month's Home Sessions now has its own page. So when you visit the Home Sessions page, you still go to your Crew name but now click on the specific month you are completing and it will open just those Home Sessions for you. (Hopefully this will be less confusing than having a giant list of lessons to scroll through.) If you have any questions or issues, please just contact me ([email protected] or call the Faith Formation Office at 239.574.2411).

In gratitude,

Jerry "Mr. H." Harrington

 

Monday, Nov 9:

Church Sessions CANCELLED - Home Session Catch Up Week!

Families,

After reviewing the Home Session Turn Ins from all families, I am sad to report that on average only 46% of families have turned in any Home Sessions. Thus, I have decided to cancel this week's Church Sessions to give every family more chance to make up their missing Home Sessions.

Additionally, I will be hosting OPTIONAL Zoom Meetings Tuesday (11/10) and Wednesday (11/11) from 5:30 - 7:30pm for any family who would like to ask questions or get help. (If you've already completed your Home Sessions or know you can do so, you do NOT need to join the Zoom.) For those needing help, I can share my screen, guide folks to where they need to click, and do live demonstrations of how to do their Home Session. Join at any time in the two hours and I will do my best to help everyone.

UPDATED NOVEMBER SESSION SCHEDULE

Nov 10 & 11: NO CHURCH SESSION -

Home Session Catch Up Time & Optional Home Session Help Zoom Meetings with Mr. H. (5:30-7:30pm open invite to join any time in those two hours)

Nov 17 & 18: Church Sessions AS USUAL

 

FAMILY FAITH FORMATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

I just want to remind everyone that this Family Faith Formation program is based on a commitment you make to partcipate in this program as a family to complete ALL the requirements.

Those requirements include:

  • attending Church Sessions (in person or online)
  • AND also completing and turning in the Church Session Turn In (in person or online)
  • completing Home Sessions as a family (an adult working with the children)
  • AND completing and turning in the Home Session Turn In (through your Family Crew webpage)

If you do not complete these requirements, we reserve the right to postpone a child's progress toward Sacraments, either by inviting a family to leave the program or repeating a year's program.

I know this program (and model - the whole way of doing this!) is very new and very different and might be confusing. I myself am a family among you; my youngest daughter is preparing for First Holy Communion and I will confess that we have one more of the three October Home Sessions to complete! Also I haven't successfully posted the November Home Sessions yet. (I hope to do so by the end of the week, at least for the Blessed families.) So I understand and share being overwhelmed this year and finding time to understand new things difficult.

But, I must balance patience with accountability. That's why I am offering these Home Session Help Zoom Meetings in place of Church Sessions in hopes of encouraging families to embrace this new model, clear up any misunderstandings or questions, and get everyone on track to succeed in their goals, especially those working toward receiving a Sacrament. As always, you are encouraged to communicate with me individually and privately via email ([email protected]) or by calling the Faith Formation Office (239.574.2411) and leaving me a message. I hope this week helps get us back on track as a program. For those of you who completed your Home Sessions, thank you for your dedication and commitment. For those who need a bit more time, take it this week. And for those confused, I'll see you on Zoom!

Zoom Meeting links will be sent (to everyone, if you don't need it, ignore it) a half hour before the meetings open.

- Jerry "Mr. H." Harrington

 

Friday, Oct 30:

Next Church Session Postponed

Families,

I have decided to postpone the Church Sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, November 3 & 4 by one week. These sessions will now take place on November 10 & 11.

Thus, in November we will have Church Sessions on the second and third weeks of the month (two weeks in a row) on Nov 10 & 11 and Nov 17 & 18 (as originally scheduled).

NOVEMBER CHURCH SESSION SCHEDULE

Nov 3 & 4: NO SESSIONS

Nov 10 & 11: Church Sessions

Nov 17 & 18: Church Sessions

As Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day, I want to make sure that everyone who plans to vote in person can do so without concern about having another item on your calendar that day. Everyone who can, should vote! And given the heightened polarization of our country right now, Election Night and especially the day after will likely involve strong emotion and the need to process the results (or the patience required while we await final results). For this reason, I've decided to postpone Church Sessions from this week to the next week.

We encourage everyone to vote and to spend these evenings next week in prayer for the peaceful and lawful administration of the election and for clear uncontested results that lead us into this next term without incidence of violence or strife. Let's all pray for our nation and for our community.

- Jerry "Mr. H." Harrington