On Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7pm in the hall of the Holy Family Center, RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) will begin a new journey in faith, sharing the richness of the Church and the fellowship of our parish family with people interested in learning more about Catholic Christianity. These gatherings are open to people who are unbaptized, as well as those who are baptized Christians from Protestant or Evangelical backgrounds. If you or someone you know would be interested in attending, please call Scott Goudeau at 615-758-2424, Ext. 30, or email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RCIA for Children (RCIC) sessions begin Thursday, Sept. 1. Questions? Call Connie Blevins at 615-397-9255.
Having shipped over 250 pillowcase dresses, 88 totes, and some 350 other donated clothing items to Petit Goave in April, this year’s Haiti Sewing Workshop begins operations again for the year on Saturday, Sept. 17, 10am, in the hall of the Holy Family Center. Donations of gently used and new pillowcases, various colors of ribbon and double bias tape continue to be needed and collected in the donation box located in the old church area. We also continue to collect boys-sized t-shirts and shorts. Don’t forget the Goodwill Store’s half-price sale on the first full weekend of every month as a great items resource for donations. Other workshops scheduled for this Fall are on Oct. 8 and Nov. 12. Our hearts are full of appreciation and gratitude for the many supporters of this ministry who have made it “a go” over the last 5 years. We’re looking forward to our 6th year of service. Questions? Call Linda (615-883-5961) or Bettyann (615-883-3422).
Continuing this weekend, the Fall Festival committee will be taking orders for jackets, fleeces and t-shirts in the old church. There will be samples to look at and people to take your order. Come check it out! We will have sign up sheets for volunteers as well.
A box has been placed in the old church where you can put your donations for Bingo. Thanks for your support.
Circle your calendar for Sept. 24. We will be holding our annual Fall Festival on that date and we need your help. We need sponsors, volunteers, silent auction items, and bingo prizes. The Fall Festival is a big undertaking and we need everyone’s help. Call Geana Larson at 615-708-1332 if you have any questions.
When I was homeless……In the past year, Catholic Charities has been instrumental in finding affordable housing for over 50 homeless families in Nashville through their Family Empowerment Program. They need our help to continue this effort. Moving in can be a daunting task for a family who has almost nothing more than the clothes on their backs. We can help in a small way by providing them with a Welcome Basket filled with cleaning supplies and other essentials to get started in housekeeping. Perhaps once a month, you could add an item to your grocery list to help them out. There is a new basket in the old church for you to place your donations. The following new or like-new items are most needed: paper towels, disinfectant wipes, all purpose cleaner, scrub sponges, broom and dust pans, dishes, flatware, towels, laundry detergent, trash bags. Thank you so much for your generosity!
If you were unable to register your children for PREP classes last weekend, you can stop by the PREP table in the old church after the Masses this weekend, fill out the forms and place them in the box provided, contact Greg Karn in the Religious Education Office for a registration form, stop by the office to pick one up, or there are forms in the pamphlet rack in the narthex. Parish religious education classes resume on Sunday, Sept. 11.
The POD for collecting items for the Trea$ure Hunt has arrived. Volunteers will be staffing the POD for 30 minutes following all weekend Masses through Labor Day weekend. Drop off your small items to the POD. Keep in mind the following: For furniture and major appliance pick-up, please call Bob Young at 615-772-6402. If you cannot bring your items after Mass, call Bob Young or Bill Walsh (615-513-6369) to arrange a drop off time. We cannot take any type of mattress (including baby mattresses), car seats, old picture tube TVs or anything flammable. Make sure anything you donate is in working order. Smaller items should be packaged in boxes or bags. Please keep clothing items separate. Receipts for IRS purposes are available at the POD. Many volunteers are needed. You do not have to be a Knight or a KCLA member to help out. To volunteer your time at the POD or at the Trea$ure Hunt, contact Chip Harris at email@example.com or 615-289-6767. We need your help. The Trea$ure Hunt will occur in the upper parking lot, rain or shine, Sept. 9-10.
Leading up to our first Catholics Returning Home session in September, we are sharing the Top Ten Reasons to Come Back to the Catholic Church from Our Sunday Visitor. Enjoy! Number 1: Because we hunger for the Eucharist. Many people come back to the Catholic Church because they feel an intense longing for the Eucharist. Sometimes it happens at a wedding, a funeral, a baptism, a First Communion or a Confirmation. Sometimes it happens when people are alone or facing difficulties in life. They describe it as a deep hunger for the spiritual nourishment that comes when they receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This hunger for the Eucharist triggers a recognition of the presence of Christ in other sacraments, which draws them even more deeply into the practice of their faith. It is, without exception, the number one reason that people come back to the Catholic Church. Most people discover that coming back to the Church is not an event as much as it is a process that involves a little pain, a little laughter, some thinking, some prayer, some discernment and a lot of letting go. “My actual return to full participation in a parish took about three years after I felt the first longing,” one person admitted. And what do we get in return? The Catholic Church offers union with Jesus Christ in the Scripture, in prayer, in the community of others, in the Eucharist, and in the other sacraments. It offers spiritual support in good times and bad. It offers divine wisdom which is thousands of years old. It offers meaning and purpose in this life and the promise of eternal life after death. You’ll know you are home when you begin to feel a deep sense of peace. If you have been away from the Catholic Church, welcome back home! We miss you! If you have a relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker who has been away from the Church, we need your help. Please invite them back. To help update Catholics that have been away from regular participation in church life, we will offer a 6-week Catholics Returning Home session starting on Sept. 8. Get details from the cards on the poster in the narthex. Contact Jerry Marcec firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-362-7150 to register or for more information.
Check out the St. Stephen Parish App which has been updated with some new music. We’ve added a Lent Playlist! As each liturgical season changes, we will create a playlist for you to enjoy for prayer, reflection and appreciation of the season.