Dear friends in Christ,
With classes officially underway for nearly all of our families with children, we are quickly returning to the hum of the school year. After our three-day weekend next week for Labor Day, we’ll settle into a nice rhythm. Our Religious Education classes will begin later in September (more on that in a moment), and a great deal of our ministries will be offering programs, meetings and classes as the fall begins to unfold. In particular, there are some great offerings for Bible studies. Please check the bulletin or our parish website regularly and come and see all that CtR has to offer. There is something for everyone.read more »
Dear friends in Christ,
Welcome back! With the new school year underway (CtR School began on Aug. 11 with 391 kids enrolled in grades Pre-K through 7th) and with the local Cy-Fair schools preparing to open tomorrow, I welcome all who are with us this weekend for the first time or perhaps the first time in several months. The start of a new academic year always brings a spike in our attendance at Mass as people make their way back to church after various summer trips and vacations. I pray that this coming school year will be a blessing to our children in the community. May they be filled with gifts of wisdom and understanding. May it also be a time of joy and peace for the many teachers and administrators from our parish who do such good work in our local schools. God bless you all!read more »
Dear friends in Christ,
Recently we had a discussion in our Parish Office about the abbreviation “BVM.” If I were to write those three letters – BVM –without any other reference, would you know what they mean? I always assumed members of a Catholic parish would know, but I was told that it might confuse some people. Well, OK, but we need to brush up on our Catholic lingo! BVM stands for “Blessed Virgin Mary.” I’ll even use it in a sentence: Tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the BVM.read more »
Dear friends in Christ,
It’s an exciting week for us at the parish as our CtR Catholic School begins its third year with the first day of school this Thursday, Aug. 11. We will be welcoming nearly 400 students this year in grades Pre-K 3 through 7th. I look forward to being at the door bright and early on Thursday morning to welcome them. It’s always a day of wide-eyed amazement for some, and a few tears for others as well. (And that’s just the parents!) Please keep our students and staff in your prayers that the Holy Spirit might enlighten our hearts and minds throughout this coming school year.read more »
Dear friends in Christ,
Raise your hand if, like me, you cannot believe that today is the final day of July. Where did the month go? For that matter, where did the summer go? It seems like it just began, but in just a few weeks the kids will be back in school. It doesn’t seem possible. So much for an endless summer!
Thus, we are already looking ahead to the fall and the start of our Religious Education school year. If you are new to CtR, Religious Education is what some parishes used to call “Sunday school.” Other places call it “CCE” (long ago it the term “CCD” was also used) or “Faith Formation.” Regardless of the name, it all speaks to the education of young people in the way of the faith. Classes don’t begin until Sept. 18 but the all important registration period opens tomorrow on Aug. 1 and will run throughout the month. Registration is conducted primarily online on our parish website, but we’ll also have forms available in the School/R.E. Education Building and in the main church office lobby for those of you who still want a paper trail. Remember that R.E. registration is for any child entering Pre-K 3 through 7th grade. If you have an 8th grade or high school student, you will register through the Youth Ministry Department. Rise is the program for junior high and Encounter is the program for high school students. Registration information for both can be found online.
We expect another record number of students to be registered (we had more than 2,500 kids last year), so please do not delay. Many of you took advantage of our early registration period back in the spring and I thank you for that, but we know there are many more families who still need to signup their children. We’re blessed with many classrooms in our Education Building, but class sizes still must be limited so remember that it is first-come, first-served for available days and times. Make plans to take care of registration as soon as you can. It only takes a few minutes to do so online and I think you’ll find the process streamlined and very user-friendly.
Remember as well that when you are registering your child for R.E. classes you can also sign up yourself to be a catechist or aide. We are in great need of a number of catechists to teach our children, from the littlest ones in the early grades on through middle school and high school. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in the life of the parish and to live out the call of Stewardship of your time and talent. We’ll train you and give you all the support you need. There is no greater gift than to pass on the faith to a child, so please consider joining this important ministry of CtR. The R.E. staff is happy to answer your questions and get you involved.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also remind you that our CtR Catholic School is preparing for its third year and we are still accepting applications for new students. We’re offering grades Pre-K through 7th this year and our enrollment is nearing 400 students. We began with 175 kids just two years ago so you can see the word is out on the impact we are making as more and more families join us. It’s a blessing to our parish community to have a school, and as we continue to grow I invite all parishioners with school-aged children to consider a Catholic education for your child.
Certainly our local public schools do a fine job of education, and we are blessed with many outstanding teachers and administrators in our parish. We wish them all of God’s blessings as they prepare to return to school. Yet there is something more that we can offer at CtR Catholic School that no public school can touch, namely Jesus. Our children are steeped in the Catholic faith every day in every class as we seek to form hearts, minds and souls. The first two years since we opened our doors have been a blessing beyond measure, and I know the Lord has great things in store for our school as we enter our third year. If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to take a tour of our CtR Catholic School and see what it can offer you and your child. The school has its own website with much more information.
Finally, don’t forget about our wonderful Genesis Early Childhood Program, which begins its 21st year of operations this year. Genesis is for our youngest learners, aged 18 months through 4 years old. It offers either a two- or three-day-a-week program to provide flexibility for families. Genesis is also happy to give you a tour of its facilities and tell you about the wonderful ways it is helping young children grow in knowledge and faith. You’ll find both Genesis and the CtR Catholic School in the Education building alongside of Religious Education.
With all this talk about schools and education please remember that our annual Operation Backpack for school supplies is underway. We’re collecting supplies beginning now through next weekend. Bring them to Mass or drop them off in the Parish Office during the week. We are asking for new school supplies (wide notebook paper, folders, binders, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, map colors, etc.; see the website for a complete list) that we can distribute to local school children in need through Cypress Assistance Ministries (CAM) and also our sister parish, Our Mother of Mercy, in Houston’s Fifth Ward. We always have a great response from the CtR community so please remember to pick up a few items when you are at the store. There are plenty of sales going on now so stock up and bring them to Mass and we’ll make sure they get to children most in need.
I’ve talked a lot about our children this week, so let me close by giving a shout-out to our parishioners who are young at heart, the Classics, our group of seniors (50+) in the parish. The kids of the parish don’t have anything on the Classics when it comes to having fun – and they don’t have to go to school anymore, either! If you are a Classic yourself and haven’t yet checked out the long list of activities this great ministry has in store, contact Pat Jewell, the president of the group, at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll give you the scoop. New members are always welcome.
P.S.: As I mentioned last week as part of the annual Missionary Cooperation Plan of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, we are joined today by Louise Zwick from Casa Juan Diego in Houston to tell us a bit more about the good work they are doing in the name of Jesus Christ in our community. Every year the parishes of the Archdiocese welcome a missionary to inform us of the vital work of mercy they are engaged in to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to afford us the opportunity to be united in prayer and solidarity with them. Please join me in welcoming the good people of Casa Juan Diego to CtR, and I invite us to generously support them in their efforts serving those most in need.read more »