Whole Family Catechesis is a family-based Religious Education experience designed to bring every member of our families closer to Jesus in our everyday life.
This faith formation program is designed to meet the needs of our families who have children entering Grades 1 to 6.
All Parents/Guardians and children commit to attending 6 faith formation offerings during the course of the year.
Families also make a commitment to attend Mass weekly and complete a Gospel-based curriculum at home. Curriculum packets are distributed and scripture readings are outlined and emailed on a monthly basis. Families are asked to read scripture stories together that are assigned.
The offerings are categorized into different faith experiences. They include: family retreats, worship, spiritual, and service.
What is a family retreat? This is a unique way for children to learn about Jesus along with their parents and siblings. We gather at 7:00 pm in our church with a short prayer service and then a themed lesson is presented through a short lecture and video. Families then have an opportunity to do a hands-on project along with their children. We end at 8:30 pm with a closing prayer.
A Special Message for our Grade 1 and 2 Families
Please note: Families who have a Grade 1 or 2 student in this program must attend all family retreat sessions and Walk with Jesus on Good Friday. You must be in attendance for these 6 specific dates. This information is to be presented at our September family meeting.
Grade 1 and 2 schedule for 2016-2017:
October 19, 2016 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
November 16, 2016 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
January 18, 2017 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
February 22, 2017 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
March 22, 2017 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
April 14, 2017 Walk with Jesus at 10:00 AM in the gym
Children in grades 1 and 2 are dismissed into a small class setting with their own teaching team during the retreat time. A specific curriculum is covered over the 5 retreats and is focused on preparing children for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. There are also at-home activities to complete each month.
Families who have children entering in Grades 3 to 6 are asked to attend six dates out of the 30 Family options presented below.
Therefore, Grade 3 through 6 families choose all their own dates!
We begin each retreat in the church, pray, hear the theme presented, and participate in a family hands-on activity.
(1) Family Retreat ~ Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
(2) Family Retreat ~ Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
(3) Family Retreat ~ Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
(4) Family Retreat ~ Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
(5) Family Retreat ~ Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
(6) Holy Thursday Mass - April 13, 2017 at 7:30 to 8: 45 PM in the church
This is a very powerful Mass experience. There are readings about Jesus; there is the washing of feet (usually 12 parishioners) and great music. What is different is that at the end of Mass the priest reposes the Eucharist. That means he processes along with all the ministers who were on the altar and the choir and they all walk through the church and then place the Eucharist in the Tabernacle. The door of the Tabernacle is left open so people can pray. But remember it is almost Good Friday. There is evening prayer much later after this Mass. (The Eucharist is then removed from church after evening prayer.) The next time we celebrate Mass is at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday Night. During this Mass, we experience the meaning of the Last Supper, the celebration of Communion, the roots of the priesthood, and our Lord Jesus.
(7) Good Friday, April 14, 2017 – Walk with Jesus for children from 10:00 to 11:15 AM. We begin in the gym.
We walk the four Stations of the Cross with live child actors. We witness the Last Supper and also take bread and drink juice along with Jesus. We visit the Garden of Gethsemane, visit our church to hear of the Crucifixion of Jesus and end with our last station with a song and explanation of why this day is called, Good Friday.
We are looking for children actors to perform our Walk with Jesus. Rehearsal will take place on April 12, 2017 from 4 PM to 6:00 PM in the gym. Jeannine King, our Religious Education Coordinator, will direct this program.
Eucharistic Holy Hour - held monthly on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the church. During each Holy Hour we pray specifically for the intention of that evening. We sing a hymn, hear scripture readings, and pray in silence.
(8) Monday, September 24, 2016 for our Families and Young Adults throughout our World
(9) Holy Hour October 24, 2016 for Life
(9A) Holy Hour November 28, 2016 for Thanksgiving
(10) Holy Hour January 23, 2017
(10A) Holy Hour February 27, 2017 for Citizenship
(10B) Holy Hour March 27, 2017 for Peace
(11) Holy Hour April 24, 2017 for Families
(12) Holy Hour May 22, 2017 for Vocations to the Priesthood & Religious Life in our Church
(13) Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service - Monday, November 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM. Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints 1781 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains NJ
(14) Healing Mass - Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 12 noon in the church. This Mass is celebrated to help anyone who wishes to receive a blessing and pray for the healing of their mind, body, or soul. All are welcome.
(15) Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 PM in our church. This is a Holy Day when we honor our Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus. We recall that Mary is immaculate and that she was born without sin.
(16) Feast of Saint Francis - Blessing of Animals in the Saint Nicholas Prayer Garden (next to the rectory) - Bring your dog, cat, etc… for a prayer service and blessing of your beloved pet. Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016 Time: 3:00 pm
(17) PLEASE NOTE the Finding God Series is not being offered this year. If you listed this as one of your options, please choose another parish activity and send it to stbartswholefamily@gmail .
(18) Christmas Concert featuring our Saint Bartholomew choirs accompanied by a host of musical instruments. Date Dec. 17, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the church
Parish Lenten Mission with Fr. John Paladino and Fr. David Santos. Topic to be determined.
(20) Monday, March 6, 2017 at 7:30 PM in the church
(21) Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM in the church
Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent in the church
Stations of the Cross: During Lent there is an opportunity to walk through what Jesus, Mary, and his disciples experienced on Good Friday. This is known as the Stations of the Cross. Each Friday the Stations will have leaders who will read the event that occurred and then the crowd reads a prayer. There may be music; the Confirmation Candidates will lead us in the readings; and sometimes we may walk the stations outside or we remain inside.
(22) Stations of the Cross March 3, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm
(23) Stations of the Cross March 10, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm
(24) Stations of the Cross March 17, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm
(25) Stations of the Cross March 24, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm - Led by Level 1 Confirmation Candidates
(26) Stations of the Cross March 31, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm
(27) Stations of the Cross April 7, 2017 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm - Led by our St. Bartholomew Choir
(28) April 14, 2017 - Good Friday Outdoor Living Stations ~ presented by our High School Youth Group at 7:30 pm in the parking lot. We will walk outside as the sun sets with live actors from our High School Youth group. They will lead us in prayer and song and reenact the events of that day.
(29) Family Planting Service Project in the Saint Nicholas Prayer Garden:
Date: TBD, 2017 Time: 6:00 to 7:30 PM
You bring your hand shovel & watering can. We will provide the soil, flowers etc.
For further information regarding Whole Family Catechesis:
Contact: Teresa Quigley Director of Whole Family
or call the Religious Education Office, 908-322-2359