Faith Formation

He is Risen – Alleluia

By Sian Owen / April 12, 2021
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He is Risen! The darkness of the Church at the Easter Vigil was brought alive by the light of the Paschal candle. On this night of all nights we celebrated the glory of Christ’s resurrection.  It is a ceremony rich in symbolism and joy.  Having experienced and remember the Passion story through Holy Week our hearts burn with joy and excitement.  Our hope is renewed as we recognise that Jesus resurrected lives with us. This annual celebration of the Lord’s resurrection is one of our earliest. It goes back to the first generation of Christians.  In fact for the first three hundred years of the Church is was the only feast observed throughout the Christian world.   The celebration of what we would come to know as Easter was through a vigil.  Vigil coming from the Latin for watch or waiting.  Following the dark hours of the crucifixion the first day …
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Grace based Parenting

By Sian Owen / March 31, 2021
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Grace based parenting is simply treating your kids the way God treats you. God doesn’t nag us, guilt us, shame us, compare us, insult us, yell at us, marginalize us, trivialize us, control us, ignore us, or write us off. He doesn’t get exasperated with us regardless of how exasperating we are. He simply loves us in a way that we desperately need but don’t deserve. Never throwing out the rulebook, or the consequences for poor choices, He sees our greatest potential and nurtures us toward that. When we create an atmosphere of grace for our kids to grow up in (just like Jesus creates for us), we meet the three core inner needs that every child is born with: A secure love A significant purpose A strong hope There are four wonderful freedoms offered by grace-based homes that consistently bring out the best in our children: The freedom to …
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Who Packed Your Parachute Today?

By Sian Owen / March 25, 2021
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Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience. One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.” Plumb couldn’t sleep that …
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Practicing Discipleship

By Sian Owen / March 15, 2021
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Lent is a season to retreat from what is normally the frantic pace of life to pause, take stock and restore or develop good habits.  There are many things that we as Catholics do during the season of Lent.  These practices are not about us and doing things (or not doing things) to check off a list.  We do them to open ourselves up to God and help us to be missionary disciples of Jesus. Practices are divided into three ‘types’. Fasting is one of the Lenten practices.  Catholics over the age of 7 and under 60 are required to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday in New Zealand. We are called to fast every Friday on the year and all through Lent.  Although the term fast usual concerns the eating of less food we can also fast from gossip, using our devise… the list …
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For All Parents

By Sian Owen / March 10, 2021
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Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying. Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is. Just this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play. Just this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together. Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles. Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up or second-guess every decision I have made where you are concern. Just for this afternoon, I will let …
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God Front and Centre.

By Sian Owen / March 2, 2021
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Hello to all of you parents out there at home with your treasures (children). Here is a way of bringing Jesus into our homes. Creating a Liturgy Focus: Make a focus with Purple being the Lenten colour. Children can find anything in their house that is purple and place on the kitchen table. Rock hunting and hiding: The rockin’ new hobby spreading kindness in New Zealand. This is a wonderful way to be creative with your children and to appreciate God’s creations. Read the gospel of the day; Take time to reflect and listen to the thoughts of your children. 3. Children’s Prayer Moment | Encourage your children to pray for other people in their communities. Deborah Wood Deborah is a mother and grandmother.  She is a member of the Pastoral Services Group serving in the Faith Formation Team. 

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Laughter the Best Medicine

By Sian Owen / February 24, 2021
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A trip to see friends at their farm. The children were bored at home so we thought it would be a good idea to visit friends in the country. We travelled out of town and arrived at our destination half an hour later. Living in the country, these friends had gates to protect their livestock, so as I was in the passenger seat it was logical that I would get out and open each gate and judiciously close each one behind the car as we progressed through to the house. Not a problem you would think until we reached the final gate and that is when things got a little tricky in between me and the gate were some frisky heifers. At first I thought I would ignore the heifers and they will not even notice me passing by but as I started to walk towards the gate these inquisitive …
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Dad’s are Invincible to their Boys

By Sian Owen / February 11, 2021
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On his 6th birthday. My son received one of those razor scooters for his birthday. You know, those ones with the really small wheels. The next day he was riding down our relatively steep back yard and I thought, it’s only a matter of time before carnage occurs. Later that day I was outside while he was scooting and he said, “Dad have a go”. So up to the top of the drive I went and down I came – like a rocket. I was somewhat pleased with my speed when the front wheel went into a small hole in the grass and in an instant, I was a missile for several meters landing on my back several metres down the section. Lying there checking that all my systems were still working; he comes running up to me, jumps on top of me and says with great delight “awesome dad …
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