Faith Formation Director of Faith Formation: - Deacon Gary DiLallo

The 2023-2024 Faith Formation year is underway! It’s not too late to register and join us this year as we journey together growing in faith!
FAITH FORMATION CORNER by Deacon Gary DiLallo

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16:13
When I traveled to Italy and Israel I always had a tour guide that showed us around. A tour guide provides assistance, information, and guidance to individuals or groups of tourists during their travels.
Their primary role is to enhance the travel experience by sharing knowledge and insights about the destinations, attractions,
and cultural aspects of the places being visited.
Tour guides are well-versed in the history, geography, culture, and traditions of the locations they cover, and they use their
expertise to educate and entertain the tourists.
I’ve always been struck by Jesus’s words: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” They are a humbling and refreshing reminder that our need, from first to last, isn’t partial, but total. By giving us the Holy Spirit, Christ has given us all we need and more,
from first to last.
The Holy Spirit gives us life. He fills our life and points us to the One who is life. The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in guiding
Christians by revealing Truth: Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide believers into all truth. This truth is primarily found in
the word of God in scripture which the Spirit illuminates for us.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we gain understanding of God’s will and receive guidance in our lives.
In summary, the Holy Spirit guides Christians through Scripture, conviction, empowerment, and intercession, enabling us to live according to God’s purpose and truth. Have a Blessed Week.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him,
He will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
In Hampton Court, near London, there is a grapevine which is about 1,000 years old. This grapevine has one root which is at least
two feet thick, and some of the branches are 200 feet long.
Despite its age, the vine produces several tons of grapes each year. Although some of the smaller branches are 200 feet from the
main stem, they still bear the sweet and delicious fruit because they are connected to the vine.
Life flows from that single root and throughout the vine, bringing nourishment and strength to each of the branches. The purpose
of the vine is to bring nourishment to the branches in order that they might produce fruit. When separated from the vine the branches
wither and die.
I am the vine; you are the branches is a powerful and convicting passage of Scripture. Are you abiding in the Vine-Jesus
today? Have you been saved by grace and grafted into the Vine-Jesus? If so, is your life producing fruit? If you have never been
saved, you are not attached to the Vine. Come to Christ today as He leads you in salvation! We are spiritually dead without Jesus.
Have a Blessed Week.

“I am the good shepherd. and they will hear My voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

My son Matthew raised sheep on our homestead farm in Union Springs. When I went out in the field to feed them, I would
call them and they ignored me. But when Matthew called, they came running. Shepherds protect their sheep and want the best for
them. God wants the best for us. He wants us to have a rich, full life so that we can spend eternity with Him.
Easter reminds us that Christ, our Good Shephard, laid down His life for His sheep, you and I. When Jesus said: I am the
Good Shepherd. He was telling us that it is only when we are in the presence of Christ – allowing Him to be the door that regulates our
lives – that we can be safe.
Cows can be pushed. Sheep must be led. And, when you think about it, it’s really not that dumb. Sheep trust their shepherd
and go where the shepherd goes. And they let the shepherd go first, to make sure the way is safe, and then to invite them to follow
him. And isn’t that what Jesus is asking of us? To be His followers? He’s not going to push us. He’s not going to force us. Instead,
Jesus just keeps calling us, in many and various ways, and inviting us over and over to follow Him. Trust Him and follow Him.
Have a Blessed Week.

Faith Formation Corner – Deacon Gary DiLallo
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it
is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Look at this beautifully wrapped package. As you can probably guess by the way it is wrapped,
here is a gift inside. Do any of you like to receive gifts?
Of course, you do! I can’t imagine anyone saying that they don’t enjoy receiving a gift. If I were to
give this package to you and ask you to give me five dollars, would it be a gift? NO.
If you have to pay for it or do something to receive it, it isn’t a gift. When someone gives you a gift, it doesn’t cost you anything. It doesn’t come with any conditions. All you have to do is accept it. That’s what makes it a gift.
What was the best gift you have ever received? Was it your first bicycle? Maybe it was a Barbie Doll, or a video game, but
today I want to tell you about a gift that is, without question, the greatest gift ever given.
It is the gift of eternal life. It is the gift from God and it was given to anyone who wants to receive it. The Bible says, “For
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Whoever — that’s you and me. Eternal life — what a gift! And all we have to do to receive it is to believe and accept Jesus as
our Savior. Deacon Gary DiLallo-Have a Blessed Week!

God put Abraham to the test.” (Genesis 22:12)

 I arrive at school, we pledge allegiance to the flag, we pray a morning prayer, we settled down and Sister Mary Amelia at St. Hyacinth’s school says to take out a piece of paper and put your name on it.  We are having a test.  (UGH)       God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to give his only son, Isaac. God wanted to know if Abraham loved Him more than he loved Isaac. God’s messenger says: “I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from Me your own beloved son.”        The testings of our faith are the trials we face in our life that help us to develop perseverance and endurance. It is also a way to prove the genuineness of our faith and to show the greatness of our love for God. Abraham trusted God and passed the test. Are you trusting God in the testing of your faith? Abraham put his faith in God completely and unequivocally. Can we say we have the kind of faith that Abraham had? In Romans. 4:11, Abraham is described as the father of all those who believe.” He proved his faith throughout the course of his life.  Nothing got in the way of Abraham’s love for God. Do we allow anyone or anything to get in the way of our relationship with God? God provided for Abraham. We know this because in Genesis 22:8 Abraham was sure of it and told Isaac, “God will provide.”             
You can be sure He will do the same for us.                                        Have a Blessed Week

“But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret”. Matthew 6:6
On Wednesday, February 14, we begin the season of Lent, a time for spiritual preparation before
Easter. The purpose of the Lenten season is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ—to meditate and
consider His life, His suffering, His death, burial, and resurrection. Many will use this time
for fasting, repentance, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
For me, I try to double down in new prayers and scripture readings. Here are a few suggestions for the
faith formation classes and others, to improve your prayer life during Lent.
Personal reflective prayer- -go to your room and close the door (gently); come to church a few minutes
early and pray the Stations of the Cross; meditate on Sacred Scripture each day as you read your Bible; reflect
more deeply on your liturgical prayer by attending weekly mass; pray with your family. Finally, perhaps the
best advice on praying during Lent is to use the time to instill prayer habits that will last long after Lent has
concluded.
In addition to Lent starting on Wednesday, it is also Valentine’s Day. Over the years it has gradually
changed to become a day to celebrate romantic love expressed with the giving of flowers, sweets, and cards.
So, yes, get your ashes on Ash Wednesday, pray and then send love notes to those special people in your lives.
You may want to skip the sweets for the day, because loving someone is the sweetest gift you can give them
for Lent. Have a Blessed Week.

God sets a father in honor over his children. (Sirach 3:2)
There is nothing easy about being a father, especially nowadays. Scripture may actually change the way you
parent. Be your child’s “First Teacher”. It’s our responsibility, not the school, not the government, but you—Dad, to “train
up a child in the way he/she should go.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Fathers who spend time with their children, and it’s not empty time (Deut. 6: 6-9), it’s very clear in Scriptures that
dads must engage their children in the kind of deep, heart-to-heart conversations that impart more than facts, but teach
wisdom. So schedule some regular “conversational walks” one -on- one with your children.
Fathers should never give up on their kids. The story of “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:20-24) is the story of a father
who never gave up hope and was always ready to receive his child back with open arms. We can discipline, we can hold
accountable, but we must never, ever give up.
Finally, dads pray for your children: King David prayed for his son, Solomon. “And give my son Solomon a whole
heart to keep and carry out all Your commandments, decrees, and statutes.” (1 Chronicles 29:19)
Children who know without any doubt that their fathers pray for them every day own a deep sense of love and
security. “When he prays, he is heard.” (Sirach 3:5)

Upcoming Events

May:

 23 Thursday Bible Study 11:00 am Nacca Hall
23 Thursday Mystagogy 6:30pm-8:00PM Schrader Hall

Parish Eucharist Revival    The Liturgy of the Word      The Liturgy of the Word Nearing the end of the Liturgy of the Word we come to the creed. It is a recognition and restatement of all of scripture on one page. We with the responsorial Psalm, each time we assert “I Believe” we are responding to and affirming God’s Holy Word. Bishop Barron calls those “fighting words” and says “the liturgy makes not a lick of sense without their inclusion.” In a way, the Nicene Creed, can be thought of as a “disinfectant”, the proclaiming of truth over wrong
ideas, novelties, and easy heresies that can contaminate the life of faith.