All programs have been suspended for this brief time frame, until we can assess the safety and health of all concerned. Which will be done again at the end of the month – March 30th . We will not be doing any masses after tomorrow morning – this includes the weekend masses. Please contact the church office with any questions , as of now it will be open.
- No RCIA class tonight or Scrutiny dismissal this weekend.
- No Faith Formation classes – which we are on spring break for two weeks so that will work .
- No 1st Communion Sacramental preparation meeting March 30th. Catechist please inform your parents/ students. A memo will go out to the parents of the Communicants later to remind them of future dates & times.
- All doors will have a notice posted to inform parents/ families of this news. We will also hopefully be able to put it on the church website. Catechist if you can contact families in your class to also update them that would be wonderful.
A few suggestions on things families can do to help them in their spiritual journey and ease the uncertainty are listed below. May Our Lord & Savior be with you all and all those affected by this virus.
Peace & Blessings,
Director of Religious Education
St. Joseph Catholic Church
532 Ave. M, NW
Winter Haven, FL. 33881
- Dinner table (or car ride) questions that relate to the faith:
- On a scale of 1-10, how was your day, and where did you see God today?
- Is your faith more like ________ or _______? (pillow or rock; treasure chest or banquet; roots or wing)
- This allows children to draw on their experiences, rather than their linguistic ability.
- Click here for a set of podcasts from the USCCB’s resources for catechetical Sunday, “Helping Parents and Families Engage and Evangelize the Nones in their Homes.” These podcasts have even more great ideas for discussing the faith with children of all ages.
- Short video or audio (5 minutes or less) reflections on the scriptures, followed by questions that allow for comparison to daily life.
- For instance, the Gospel for March 18 is Mt 5:17-19, and includes the line, “…whoever obeys…these commandments, will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” A question could be, “Is this true in our own house? Does the person who follows the rules, or the commandments, bring more peace, or less peace to the house, and why?”
- If the pastor or associate has time to create these messages and post on the parish social media accounts, this could help unite the parish community when physical proximity isn’t possible.
- Use an app to pray together. Consider Hallow (audio, and free) or Laudate/iBreviary. Hallow includes audio reflections on the daily gospel (lectio divina), the Examen prayer, acts of spiritual communion, the Rosary, and more. Laudate and iBreviary both include the Liturgy of the Hours as well as other resources but may need more introduction and support.
- This could be used to create a family schedule and rhythm of prayer, which might lend a sense of normalcy to an otherwise interrupted schedule.
- For families who are looking to go deeper and have more time, they could login to a site like Formed.org and participate in a study program, likewise using the program to establish a family routine.
- Propose a parish novena to your patron saint or parish devotion and share the novena prayers on social media.
- Help families understand the practice of spiritual communion (here is a prayer), a good daily practice whether or not we are able to participate in the celebration of Mass.
Ultimately, you and your pastor, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are in the best position to make decisions about how to support your family /parishioners. Please consider my message above as one among many resources and know that I recognize the gifts of prudence and wisdom that the Lord has already bestowed upon you.
If you would still like more information, please contact me directly and we will discuss.
For updates from Bishop Noonan about the diocesan response to coronavirus, please visit this dedicated page. If any members of your community are isolated by quarantine, please share this email address ([email protected]) with them and ask them to send in their name and prayer requests to be included by name in Bishop Noonan’s daily prayers.
Importance of Registration
Please make sure you are a registered Church family. Sacramental sponsorship depends on proof of active participation in Church life which can only be followed by meeting registration criteria. Call or stop by the Church Office today.
We encourage you to contact us for more information regarding our Faith Formation Program, the foundation for all Sacramental Programs.
Faith Formation and Sacramental Programs
For information, contact Becky Roach, Faith Formation Director, in the Church Office.
All Children not attending Catholic Schools should be registered in Faith Formation Classes regardless of whether they will be celebrating a Sacrament. One year of Faith Formation classes are needed prior to entering a Sacramental class.
We offer a Baptism prep class for parents and godparents. English class is the first Monday of each month and in Spanish at 4:30 pm in the Parish Center located north of the Church. Attendance at this class is required before any baptism can be scheduled. Detailed policies and guidelines are discussed in the class. There are no baptisms during Lent. Check the calendar for exact date, time and location.
Students in grade 2 and the delayed sacraments class for both public school Faith Formation students and St. Joseph day school are prepared for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion. We offer 6 required sacramental prep. classes for both parent and child (in addition to required formation). Please make sure you check the calendar for dates & time. All paperwork must be completed and guidelines followed before a sacrament may be received. Attendance at the parent/child sessions should answer any questions that may come up. For further information please contact the church office. Enrollment at St. Joseph day school does not mean you are enrolled in a sacramental program. Please make sure you register at the church office.
Youth in 9th grade and above are prepared for Confirmation– Attendance is required as well as verification of baptism, 1st Communion, and sponsor.
If you are registered in another parish and wish to receive a sacrament or formation at St. Joseph you will be required to have a letter from your pastor giving permission and stating that you meet the required guidelines of formation or sacraments.
Transferring students to St. Joseph sacramental programs in mid-year will be required to have a letter from their former parish stating they have been in preparation prior to moving.
Videos, books, study programs available through your parish access code, PJYGQB. Set up an account today
Weekly Schedule and Times
Children's Liturgy of the Word at the 10 am Mass
Sundays 9 - 10 am in the school building for:
* K - 8th grade;
Children & Youth Catechumenate (Delayed Sacraments Class - for those who missed Sacraments)
1st Communion for 2nd-grade students in public schools
Teen and Adult Programs
First Confirmation session is Sunday, October 14. Formation includes participation at the 5:30 Spirit Mass and then gathering in the Parish Center.
Becoming Catholic (RCIA) Tuesdays, 6:60 pm Vietnamese "Why Catholic"
Spanish Adult Faith Formation Sundays, 9 - 10 am
For further information regarding Faith Formation, Sacramental programs, or Enrichment programs, please contact Becky Roach in the Church Office.
+++ Policies, Procedures and Guidelines +++
All families in any faith formation or sacramental preparation program need to be registered at St. Joseph Church. It is very important for a practicing Catholic to be registered in the parish regardless of their financial contributions. Even if you are financially unable to contribute weekly, please still use your envelopes. This lets us know that you are active in the church. That, alone with active participation in ministries, is the only way we have of verifying your participation in church life. If you are asked to be a godparent for baptism or a sponsor for confirmation you will need to provide any church with a sponsor verification form that proves you are a practicing Catholic. We can only provide that information if we have a record of it. Without that information you may be disqualified from that honor.
Documents and Forms
At registration please bring a copy of your child's baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation certificates if they were done in a Church other than St. Joseph. In order for your child to receive First Communion, they must present a valid baptismal certificate. For Confirmation, a Baptismal and First Communication certificate will be needed along with a verified sponsor form. If these Sacraments were done at St. Joseph then we will have a record and the sacramental certificates will not be needed. You must be registered in the parish for three months prior to a Baptism. Prior to First Communion and Confirmation, you must have been enrolled in a Faith Formation program. Transfers from other Churches must have verification.Any youth and children attending off-campus events and activities as part of St. Joseph programs and groups must complete the following forms. They must be sent to Becky Roach.
Faith Formation Confirmation Registration Form
Sacraments are signs instituted by Jesus to bring us grace. We will strive to make every effort to help you receive these sacraments.
(The Catechumenate -RCIA) Special classes for children, teens, and adults are offered at different times. If you are interested in becoming Catholic or have missed a sacrament please contact Becky in the church office for more information. Children and teens meet on Sundays in different classrooms in the school building between 9:00-10:00 am. This allows the entire family the chance to attend Sunday Mass together. Adults meet Tuesday evenings 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm in the Family Life Center, room 2.
Children and youth are expected to be on time and participate in class activities without disruptive behavior. If a child or youth is unable to do this the teacher will contact the DRE and in turn, the parents will be notified to pick up their child.
Behave in a Christian manner, come with an open mind and heart and respect others at all times. Parents, know your child’s teacher and help them if they are seeking volunteers for projects or activities.
Parents must bring their child to the school door and pick them up from there. Please do not drop off your child and allow them to walk across the street or parking lot alone.