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Senior Citizens Christmas Party


The Knights of Columbus will hold their annual Senior Citizens Christmas Party on Sunday, December 16th from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the Mount Carmel Parish Center. All Seniors are welcome! The afternoon will include lunch, music and entertainment, as well as a visit and gifts from Santa! If you have any questions, please contact Mark Stappenbeck (201-444-3346).

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October Tough Topic by Fr. Ron

BANG.  Are we talking Genesis, as in the first book of the Bible, or are we talking theory, as in the Big Bang Theory.  Both talk about the beginning of creation.  “The theory that the universe began … and has been expanding since some particular instant that marked the origin of the universe.”  (McGraw-Hill Scienc3e & Technology Encyclopedia).  Or “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Genesis 1:1).  The reality is so far back that the credibility of the assertions rests not on documentation but on the belief system to which the readers adheres. 

What I basically said just there was that the words we find in the Bible relating to the creation of the world in general and to Adam and Eve in particular flow out of our faith and that reading the Biblical account of that same creation cannot be taken as literal proof of the details of the origin of the world.  The Pontifical Biblical Commission (The Pope’s Commission on the Bible) tells us that these chapters which relate the beginning of the world and of humans “relate in simple and figurative language, adapted to the understanding of a less developed people, the fundamental truths presupposed for the economy of salvation, as well as the popular description of the origin of the human race and of the Chosen People.” 

In other and clearer words, no, Catholics do not take the creation story of Adam and Eve literally.  I apologize for what must be some unfamiliar language, but it was necessary to quote the official teaching first and then try to explain it.  No scholar today would hold that Genesis presents history in the modern sense of the word.  The sacred writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were interested in the “facts” of history only in so far as they illustrated the divine plan.  So what are the “facts” of the history as narrated by the Book of Genesis that the sacred writers want to convey.

And what are the “facts” of the divine plan as the Church, and, therefore, Catholics understand them?  First, the world, no matter its age, nor the manner in which it came about and developed, was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.  In simpler words, no matter the time or the process, God made the world out of nothing.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches this very directly, “God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity, and order.  Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine ‘work,’ concluded by the ‘rest’ of the seventh day.” (CCC; #337). 

Secondly, God created the world out of love, and to show His glory and, therefore, all creation, the world and all the creatures in it, were created to share in that love and in God’s goodness. This is especially true of “man,” humankind.”  Man is the only creature that God has willed for its own sake, made in the “image of likeness of God.”  By this will, everything was created for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God.  In creating man in His image, God established him in friendship and in freedom, the freedom to respond to God and God’s love.  But, tempted by the devil, man let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God, preferring himself to God.  And sin entered the world. 

In this whole exposition of Catholic theology on creation, man and sin, the Catechism of the Catholic Church continuously uses references to ADAM.  At the same time, this ADAM is broadened to refer to humankind in general.  “The whole human race is in Adam, ‘as one body of one man.’”  So, which is it?  One man, or one body of one man?    No definitive answer is given.  Sometimes as the proper name and sometimes as the name of humankind in general, the Church sees Adam as having broken the bond of friendship with God, losing the privileged place in the world, being the agent of sin, and responsible for the consequences of suffering and death visited upon the whole created world.  The conclusion to be drawn from all this, the Church isn’t putting all her eggs in one basket or the other, neither teaching that one specific individual whose name was ADAM was the first, nor that he was not.  ONLY THAT ADAM SINNED, and all suffering and death followed.



Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
Artist: Michelangelo (1475-1564)

The Creation of Adam is the most famous of the frescos painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

In 1508 Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint a series of frescos for the Sistine Chapel.  It is believed Michelangelo finished this particular fresco somewhere between 1511 and 1512 illustrating the biblical narrative from the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

The image of the near-touching hands of Adam and God  has become one of the most widely reproduced images of art.

Vatican Museum Sistine Chapel website
Sidewalk Chalk Michelangelo (video) - MUST SEE!!!
How To Draw the Hands of Creation (video)


Creation Adam Creation God
Creation hands Creation hands2


StJerome2SAINT JEROME: Born: 345 Died: 420 Canonization Date: Unknown Patron Of: Librarians

When we think of saints, we think of how holy the must be. However, Jerome was known for his bad temper! He would easily give someone a tongue lashing or use his pen to write them a strong letter, but many times he would also be swift to seek forgiveness for being too harsh.

Jerome is best known for translating the Hebrew Scriptures from Greek into Latin and his handwritten copy of the Bible, known as the Vulgate, became the official text used by the church.

Saint of the Day (Be sure to listen to the audio biography.)

StKateri2SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA: Born:1656 Died: April 17, 1680 Canonization Date: October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI Patron Of: Ecology; Ecologists; Those Persecuted or Mocked for their Faith; Native American Indians and Protectress of Canada.

Short Biography by RomeReports (video)
Canonization excerpt - Pope Benedict XVI gives the reasons why Kateri is named a saint. (video)





“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah29 11As Jr. High students, sometimes, it can seem like everyone around you is obsessed with your future. Your parents are concerned about you getting good grades so you can get into higher level classes, and then get into better colleges, and finally get great jobs, so you can be successful. Your teachers tell you constantly that you will “need this information in the future”, and your coaches push you hard to perform well in practice and games if you want a “future” in your sport. Sometimes, it seems like everyone around you is a whole lot more interested in what will happen in a future that seems decades away than they are in what is going on right now.

While the people in your lives are trying to prepare you for the best possible future, you are trying to figure out what you want that future to look like yourself. “Where will I go to high school?”, “Will I get into a great college?”, “What do I want to do when I get older?”, “What kind of job do I want?”, “Do I want to get married?”, “Will I still be close with my friends?”… The whole idea of your future can be STRESSFUL! Sometimes, you feel like all you can do is worry about what might come to be.

Don’t stress. Chill out. There’s good news. In the above verse from Jeremiah 29:11, God takes all the questions that everyone is asking you about your future and says, “Don’t worry… I’ve got this.” He reminds you that your future is in HIS hands. This is awesome news. God loves you more than your parents, your friends, even more than you love yourself. He is in control of your future, and since He is in control, you can rest assured that His plans are even better than your own! Your future has been mapped out since before you are born, and the path God has chosen for you is the one that will make you even happier than you could imagine… happier than a Division I scholarship, happier than a 6 figure job, happier than an Ivy league school, happier than a supermodel spouse. His plans are what you are created for!

It’s great to know that while you may not know the future, you know who is in control of it, a God who loves you and wants what’s best for you. All you have to do is work hard,  do your best, stay in close relationship with Him, and let Him take care of the rest!


SACRED SCRIPTURE: Means "Sacred Writings". In the Christian faith our sacred writings are contained in the Bible.  

GOSPEL: Translated means "Good News". A gospel can be either oral or written and typically announces a positive event of public importance. Therefore, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is announcing the importance of His life to all of us. 

HEBREW SCRIPTURES: The sacred writings for both the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is split into three sections: the Torah, the Prophets and  the Writings. The Hebrew Scriptures form the Covenant between God and the Jewish People.   

CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES: Also known as the New Testament, it is the name given to the second major division of the Christian Bible. It begins with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and includes the Acts of The Apostles, letters written to various Christian communities and individuals and the Book of Revelation.   

PENTATEUCH: The first five books in the Hebrew Scriptures: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. When first found, all five of these books were found on one scroll. In the Jewish faith, These five books still remain on the same scroll and is known as the Torah.   

PROPHETS: A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of God is expressed. The Prophets of the Bible are categorized as Major Prophets and Minor Prophets.  

SALVATION HISTORY: Refers to the history of salvation of human beings which cuts through the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. There are eight stages in Salvation History; five in the Hebrew Scriptures and three in the Christian Scriptures. This history begins with the fall of Adam & Eve.

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Students gain a general understanding of the structure of the Old and New Testaments and learn how to navigate the Bible.  

In each of the sessions of our junior high program, there is a section entitled, “Bringing the Session Home”. Here, we will give parents instructions on the home based portion of the program they are to teach to their child.

Parents are encouraged to break up this material into weekly sessions for you and your child to do together. They should take no more than one hour each week.

Many young people have questions about how the Bible came to be and how do we know everything contained in it is true and not a book of fiction.

The word "Bible" comes from the Greek word biblia which means "books". Therefore, the Bible is not just one book but MANY books that have been combined and put together as a collection of ancient writings about God. For the Jewish people, God was known by the name Yahweh, a name for God that means "He brings into existence all that exists".

The Bible is split into two main sections known as TESTAMENTS.

Testament means "agreement". The Old Testament - also called the Hebrew Scriptures, contains stories about the "old" agreement God made with the Hebrews (today we would call these people Jews - people of the Jewish faith). Most of what is contained in the Hebrew Scriptures deals with the agreements God made with Abraham and then with Moses and how the Hebrews (also known as Israelites) either followed or abandoned that agreement throughout their history.

IsaiahscrollThe Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a teenage shepherd boy in a cave about a mile inland from the Dead Sea. Over 972 texts or scrolls were found between 1946 and 1956. They are some of the earliest writings ever discovered of books are are contained in the Bible. It is believed this particular group of writings belonged to a group of Jews known as the Essenes. The scrolls date back to 480BCE (BC) to the most recent of 318CE (AD).   The New Testament - also called the Christian Scriptures, contains the stories and teachings about the NEW agreement between God and His people based on the teachings and life of Jesus. it begins with four Gospel Versions on the life and ministry of Jesus -  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Christian Scriptures also contain an account of the Apostles after Jesus as ascended into Heaven and letters written by key Christian leaders to individuals or communities instructing them on the faith. There is also a book of revelations by John the Apostle.

It was written by numerous people, most of them Hebrews. There are some books in the Bible that we are unsure of the author's name.

It was written over a time period of 1,100 years - from approximately 1,000 BCE (BC) to 100 CE (AD). - Use pages 10 & 11 in the booklet to show your child the length of time the Bible was written. At the same time show them the books in the Bible that would cover those events in the history of the Hebrew People. Here is a wonderful LINK to help you in matching dates with when a part of the Bible was written.

That is going to depend on which version you are using. Here's why...

Catholic Bibles have a total of 73 books that were approved by the Council of Hippo in 393 CE. The Hebrew Scriptures would total 46 books and the Christian Scriptures 27 books.

Protestant Bibles would have only 66 books in total (39 in the Hebrew Scriptures and 27 in the Christian Scriptures). At the time the Protestant Bible was created the books they left out were never found in either Hebrew or Greek, the language of the people at the time the books would have been written.Therefore, the Protestant leadership removed them until they could be found in the original language following the example of the Jewish leaders who had done the same thing centuries before. Several of the books have since been found in either Greek or Hebrew and are being authenticated.

Here is a great video to help in understanding this:  Why Are Bibles Different?


The Bible is filled with various types of writings. some of the most common are:

  • Histories of important events or individuals
  • Laws for the Jewish People to follow
  • Poetry
  • Lyrics to songs - Psalm 51 (Be Gracious to me, O God) (sung in Hebrew)
  • Speeches given by important people (known as orations)
  • Stories to teach a moral lesson


In class we watched a video on how the Bible was written.  For this and more Bible videos, check out:

Image result for the bible project

Click here for the website!

Does you child have questions about a certain topic in the lesson and you need to go more in depth? Here are some resources you might find helpful!

Spark Notes - Main Characters of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament
DEAD SEA SCROLLS - Visit the digital library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. View the actual scrolls found back in the 1940's, find out more about their history, discover the other artifacts found with the scrolls and much more!
Finding Your Way Through the Old Testament (Article) - Gives a great overview of the basics of the Hebrew Scriptures.
25 Most Important People in the Bible (List & Article) - Also gives a FANTASTIC time frame for when these individuals lived - it is near the bottom of the page.
Bible Reading for Catholics (Article) - Great list of ten points for fruitful scripture reading!
Bible at the Core of Catholic Beliefs (Article) - Understanding how scripture is vital to our faith.

- Taking Your Faith to a Deeper Level. Most people have no idea how to use scripture in their daily life. Here is a great way to begin to understand scripture in a new way using a method known as LECTIO DIVINA.

Is the Latin term which translated means “Divine Reading” or “Reading that is sacred”.

Lectio Divina is actually a form of prayer – praying through the reading of scripture and searching for God’s personal message to you through it.

Although its roots go back to the Third Century, with Origen Adamantius, a Church Father and early Christian Theologian, it wasn’t until the Sixth Century that Lectio Divina became widespread.  It was at this time that St. Benedict added Lectio Divina to the Benedictine Rule all monks were to follow.

Guigo II, a monk in the 12th Century, developed a four stage process for Lectio Divina which is still commonly used today. Not much later, St. Ignatius Loyola added a step to Guigo II’s process. Although not as widely used as Guigo II’s model, we will be using Ignatius’ formula in this instruction.

Up until the 1960’s Lectio Divina was used only by ordained clergy and religious orders.  It was Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965 in the Second Vatican Council’s document “Dei Verbum” where Pope Paul VI encouraged all the faithful to use Lectio Divina in their prayer life.

Before beginning Lectio Divina, the following is encouraged:

  • Decide on a Bible passage you will focus on. You may decide to choose one of the daily readings or a reading for the upcoming Sunday.
  • Find a location that brings you peace and solitude
  • Choose a time of day where you will not be distracted by others
  • Make sure you have at least 20 to 30 minutes for the process
  • Before opening your Bible, say a short prayer asking God to reveal himself to you through this reading.

Please watch these great videos by Archbishop Collins of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Canada on the meaning of Lectio Divina.
Part I - http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/what-lectio-divina
Part II - http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/what-lectio-divina

LECTIO DIVINA in Six Steps: Using Luke 2:1-14 -  The Birth of Jesus

STEP 1: Lexio (lex-ee-oh) This step is reading and listening to the word of God.

  • Listening with reverence.
  • Listening in a spirit of silence.
  • Listening in awe of the Sacred Word of God.

lectioRead the passage silently to yourself. (pause)
Read the passage a second time. In this step, listen for a word or phrase from the Scripture passage that is God’s word for you today.
Read the Scripture passage both silently and out loud. Read it several times, letting the words sink in deeply. Open your heart and mind to the meaning of the words.

STEP 2: Meditatio (med-it-tots-ee-oh) This step is meditation on the Scripture passage. Allow the Scriptures to touch you and affect you at your deepest level of being.

Reflect on the passage. Ask yourself questions such as the following:

What does this passage say to me? Who am I in the passage? (Can you imagine yourself as one of the shepherds watching your flock when the angels arrive? What would your reaction be?) What do I see? What do I hear? (Imagine yourself as that shepherd – what do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel?) What do I think? Which character do I most relate to? What do I most need to learn from this passage?

STEP 3: Oratio (or-ot-see-oh) This step is responding to God’s message to you from the Scripture passage. Pray with the passage of Scripture. What do the words invite you to pray about? Let the following questions guide you:

What do I want to communicate to God? What am I longing for in my relationship with God? What do I desire in my prayer life? What secrets of my heart are ready to be expressed? Is there joy? Sorrow? Fear? Gratitude?

STEP 4: Contemplatio (con-tem-plot-see-oh) This step is contemplation. In silence, rest in the unconditional love of God.
Simply let yourself rest in the presence of God. Let go of all distracting thoughts.

STEP 5: Actio (ax-ee-oh)
In this step ask yourself:

What does the word of God in this passage invite me to do? What does this passage of Scripture call me to do or undo, or to be? (If you imagined yourself as a shepherd in the passage, how is God calling you to be a modern day shepherd for Him?) Answer the following questions with utter honesty:

How is God challenging me? Is there a good thing God is calling me to do? Is there a harmful thing God wants me to stop doing? What is the next step I need to take? Decide on a course of action (large or small). Commit to following through with your plan.


  • Take a few moments of silence to reflect on the entire experience.
  • If you are a “journal person” take some time to record your thoughts.
  • Say a short prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s revelations to you through this scripture passage.

Lectio Divina, The Official Website of the Carmelite Order Great site for general information and guidance through the process.

Explanation of Lectio Divina
PART I by Archbishop Collins of Toronto, Canada Explanation of Lectio Divina
PART II by Archbishop Collins of Toronto, Canada


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Welcome to the online component for Session 1!  After each class, you have a month to visit the Student Page to listen, watch, and read materials.  Please complete any homework assignments and bring them to the next class.  Take the online quiz at the bottom of the page to prepare for an in class quiz.  And always reflect on and discuss materials with your parent!  Remind them that they have an online component too!

 Check out what happens next in...

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Click here to find out the Story of the Bible!


Finish the Scripture Scavenger Hunt worksheet that we started in class!  Please write your name on the top.  You will hand this in to your facilitator at the next session.

Click here for a reminder of how to look up passages in the Bible!

In case you lost the worksheet from class, here are the questions below:

1. What is the first world of Psalm 139:18?

2. Luke 15:9 is talking about what?

3. What is the third letter of the second word of 1 Samuel 17:18?

4. Who is speaking in Matthew 5:13?

5. Psalm 119:103 says what?

6. What is the first letter of the third word of Job 13:25?

7. Rewrite Psalm 144:1 in your own words:

8. Who is in Acts 13:25?

9. What does Exodus 32:32 say?

10. What is the first word of James 1:10?


Next month, we will be taking a look at who Jesus really is. Jesus even asked His Apostles, "Who do you say that I am?".

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Take a moment to look at the picture below.
Reflect on how this image puts what you have learned in this session into perspective.


Review time



click here to answer questions in preparation for your quiz.



Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish