It’s so wonderful to see All Saints parish returning to “normal”.
Parishioners are gathering for bible studies, programs and meetings such as Grief Share and Legion of Mary. Traditional events are back on the calendar like Bingo, the upcoming Mission Trip to Jamaica and Advent by Candlelight. Our youth groups are back in-person. The Nursery has reopened Sunday mornings and our liturgical ministries (lectors, altar servers, etc.) are again actively serving at mass and scouts are buzzing about the Scout Hut on Monday evenings in between camping trips around the state.
Even the simple sight of parishioners lingering after mass saying hello and catching up is a such a blessing.
We are all communicating again and that is what binds us together as a parish community. The best way to feel that sense of community with your fellow parishioners is to find a way to get involved that best suits your time, talents, and interests.
As Communications Assistant at All Saints, I work closely with my colleague, Bennett Travers to manage and maintain our communication channels to keep parishioners informed regarding opportunities to join a ministry, pitch in on a worthy project (i.e. Habitat for Humanity, Mission Trip), or come enjoy an activity or visiting speaker.
What are some of the ways you can learn about what is happening at All Saints?
- Our annual Ministry Fair returns after all masses the weekend of October 22-23. It’s a great opportunity to see and hear first-hand what ministries are available and meet some of the people involved who will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
- Our website is always a great resource to know what’s going on in the parish. Whether you are young or old, actively pursuing a career or currently retired, there are many opportunities at All Saints for placing your unique gifts into the service of the Lord.
- Our printed bulletin is available weekly. You can also view our bulletin online (including archived editions). Note that information in the print bulletin was submitted and formatted a week prior.
- For more timely parish updates please subscribe to our weekly eNews (emailed to your inbox every Friday).
- Keep in mind that the print bulletin and eNews have submission deadlines and limited space for content. For the most exhaustive list of what is happening in the parish visit the website.
- We also maintain a calendar on our website for all masses, activities, meetings and events.
- Be sure to follow us on Facebook too!
Finding ways to participate and become involved in “parish life” at All Saints will lead to a greater sense of belonging where you proudly call All Saints your parish. I encourage you to seek out information about the parish from any of the above communication channels.
We all seek to serve God and strengthen our faith community, so let’s continue to reach out to each other to bring about the vibrant parish we cherish.
Thank you and God Bless,
Lk 10: 41-42 “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
When Monsignor asked me to write about my experiences with ministries at All Saints, I looked for a verse that spoke to me and the essence of ministry for me. It just so happens, this verse is posted in the Social Hall kitchen where I have spent many a Sunday morning.
My first involvement with ministries at All Saints began with volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity build. It was a pretty small and easy step, but was based on the definitive truth that being an active Catholic meant more than just 1 hour on Sunday. No step towards God is too small.
Those first furtive steps have been followed by involvement in many of All Saint’s ministries, both in leadership and participant positions. Often, the work is rewarding, like seeing a grateful homeowner receive the keys to their first home or being asked to be the Confirmation sponsor for a young man I met through the Coffee and Donuts ministry. Along the journey, these graces continue to multiply. Each new grace, a blessing, but also a responsibility.
And so all too often, I feel like Martha, overwhelmed by these responsibilities, the seamless infinite opportunities to serve, and the predictable hardships that come with any true commitment to serve. Like Martha, I get so caught up in “what I have to do” that I seriously risk missing “what I get to do.”
It is especially at these times, that the above verse reminds me to relax. All that is needed is to sit at the feet of Jesus and pray and listen.
All Saints is having its annual Ministry Fair after all Masses on October 22-23. We currently have listed 39 official ministries and several unofficial ministries (i.e. Sunday morning Rosary).
Coffee and Donuts
Faith in Action
Knights of Columbus
Legion of Mary
New Parishioner Welcome
Parish School of Religion
St Faustina’s Rosary
St. Vincent de Paul
Welcome (formerly CRHP)
Many of the ministries are looking for a fresh start after Covid, and are in need of new members and leaders. We invite you to pray for guidance and strength and to consider what small step God is calling you to take.
But also, I would like to especially invite each of you to consider at least one of the prayer ministries. There are several. In today’s world, everyone is busy, and God has filled the world with daily opportunities for grace. But no grace is greater than the gift of being united with Jesus in prayer, even if it is just for a brief moment. It is the better part.
Thank you and God bless,
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25: 31-40)
For over 30 years, All Saints parishioners have been participating in the Homeless Shelter Ministry. Every winter season from November through March, we provide hot meals, breakfasts, and bagged lunches to homeless men spending the night in two downtown Atlanta church shelters – Central Presbyterian and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Since the pandemic, the shelters have not been open for overnight guests, but prior to COVID, our parish men spent the night at the shelters supervising the guests on the nights we serve meals.
In 1980 Central Night Shelter (now Bashor Homeless Men’s Shelter) a nonprofit organization, began serving homeless men every night during the winter months. Various area churches, organizations, and individuals sign up for one or more of the nights. All Saints commits to ten Saturday or Sunday nights each year, feeding approximately 100 men per night.
Due to COVID we’ve had to modify our dinner meals from casseroles served indoors to individual dinners in to-go containers distributed in the Shrine parking lot. During this time, we also provided socks, hand warmers, hats, gloves, and other items to help the men get through the cold winter nights. Plans for the upcoming season have yet to be determined, but you can be certain that we will be providing food in some fashion.
We are very fortunate to have so many volunteers offer their help year after year. Some even participate several nights in a season. Parish women’s circles and groups prepare meals for 30 to 100 men; some individuals show up every time to make sandwiches; and one of our faithful volunteers prepares an entrée for all guests every year. Many parents involve their children to give them the experience of serving those less fortunate. And let’s not forget our wonderful Knights of Columbus organization, which has continually provided financial support, and many individual Knights often spend the night at the shelter.
There are many ways to get involved: prepare hot meals from home, make sandwiches in the Activities Building kitchen, serve meals at the shelter, and for men, spend the night at the shelter (when we return to our pre-COVID schedule). Every October, we are assigned our ten nights for the upcoming winter. If you would like to participate, look for the notice in the church bulletin or eNews in the Fall for a schedule and instructions on how to sign up. Through the online program SignUpGenius you choose your date(s) and specify how you would like to help. If you’re unable to be actively involved but want to contribute, financial donations to offset expenses are appreciated. If you have never been involved in this worthwhile ministry, we believe you will find it a very rewarding experience!
Homeless Shelter Ministry Coordinators
God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
“The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process established for the universal Church for individuals to become Catholic and receive the sacraments of initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. This initiation process also involves a parish community experiencing a renewal in faith as it prepares and welcomes new members into the Church. The Rite speaks of conversion as a “spiritual journey.” Centered on fostering a deep relationship with Jesus and the Church he founded, this journey takes place through distinct stages over a period of time suitable to bring about a thorough catechesis, significant experience of the parish community, and commitment to the liturgical and moral life of the Catholic faithful.” (The Association for Catechumenal Ministry Leader’s Manual, Section Two, pg. 258)
In 2016 All Saints needed sponsors for the parish’s RCIA Program. I was a practicing Catholic but did not feel qualified to be a sponsor, so I did not respond initially. Eventually I succumbed to the entreaties after receiving the assurance that being a sponsor did not require subject matter expertise in the Catholic faith.
Sponsors do not have to have or are expected to have all the answers, but they do have to want to learn and share their faith. It is an immensely rewarding role every practicing Catholic should experience! The All Saints RCIA Program is blessed to have dedicated, well-formed instructors who do have the answers to most of the questions candidates ask, but even the instructors have to research answers on occasion. Everyone in the program benefits and I have found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences along my spiritual journey. As a sponsor, you walk with the candidates to support them in their journey and show them they are not alone. This support helps them build their confidence and remove some of the unknowns. We don’t solve all the mysteries of the Catholic Church during this RCIA process, but we do show the richness of the Catholic faith and its traditions.
RCIA at All Saints begins in late September and runs until Pentecost Sunday. We meet every Sunday from 8:45am until 11:30am in the Bride’s Room. Anyone interested in seeing a class in action is welcome to attend on any Sunday. If you would like to deepen your faith, develop a closer relationship to our Lord, Jesus Christ, learn from an awesome cadre of instructors, and support others along their spiritual journey, please attend one or more of our classes. If you believe you may want to sponsor someone wishing to come fully into the Catholic Church, please contact me at email@example.com or call/text (404) 966-0382. As I personally learned, God does not call the qualified he qualifies the called and after six years I am still learning. Why not take some time this week to quietly reflect on where God is in your life? Maybe He is calling you!
Millard Fuller, born to humble beginnings in Lanett, Alabama became a successful businessman and lawyer. A millionaire at age 29, Millard and wife Linda, gave up their wealth to refocus their lives to Christian service. After five years of Missionary work in Zaire they moved to a small interracial farm community in southwest Georgia. Seeing a need for decent housing, Millard began building simple houses for low-income families. He utilized volunteer labor and donations, requiring repayment only for the cost of materials through a no-interest mortgage. Millard soon realized that without the stress of excessive rent for substandard rental housing the family units became stronger and began to thrive. The possibility of using Millard’s concept spread across the country thus forming Habitat for Humanity.
In 1993 an All Saints Parishioner, Rosemary Ramosco, brought the idea to All Saints with the intention to partner with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) for one house in January 1994. The parishioners embraced the project with such enthusiasm they continued each year thereafter. In early 2023 we will begin construction of our 29th HFH home. Through the years I have come to understand what Millard had experienced; the construction of the house was simply a vehicle to achieve a much greater good. The success we have had is not the number of homes but the number of family units that have flourished because you gave them the opportunity of affordable housing never dreamed possible. We often speak of sharing your time, talent and treasure and there is no better example than All Saints Parishioners support of this project.
All 28 of our homebuyers have been my favorite but there is one for which my wife Jane and I have a treasured relationship. Iesha Bey, a single mother, is typical of the families selected to participate in the HFH project. Iesha had a strong work history, average income in the low 30’s, was living in one of the less desirable apartment complexes we often read about and had a desire to provide a better life for her 7-year-old son Tyler. Because of All Saints generosity Iesha was able to move to a wonderful neighborhood, in a new, energy efficient home with a mortgage under $600 per month. She was able to enroll her son in one of the best Charter schools in Atlanta.
The following quote is from the card Iesha sent to the “Volunteers of All Saints”;
“Your willingness not only to fund my home but build my home is already too much for words. But then you came and filled our home with laughter, joy, and great memories. There isn’t an inch of the property not spilling over with love and laughter. I will never forget the moments we shared, friends I made and love I felt. How can one congregation have so many EARTH ANGELS? With a very full heart I thank you all.” Iesha Bey
Jane and I are blessed to have your support which has allowed this ministry to continue for three decades. Like Iesha Bey, we are proud to be surrounded by so many Earth Angels.
He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord
– Psalm 15:2-3
The search for justice and caring for one another has been a consistent message in Judeo-Christian teaching. From the Old Testament through the Acts of the Apostles, we as Catholic Christians have been called to love and care for our brothers and sisters, all of us made in the image and likeness of God. The Catechism teaches us that morality is both personal and social: how we treat our brothers and sisters should be a direct reflection of our Catholic faith. In this complex and interconnected world, Catholic social teaching provides guidance for fostering a society committed to the common good.
Faith in Action exists to give Catholics at All Saints an opportunity to deepen their comprehension of Catholic social teaching and to enjoy fellowship with those who seek to live their faith in the service of our Lord. We welcome all adults who want to grow in their faith, and we are blessed with membership of diverse ages and backgrounds.
Our main purpose is to learn about current social issues in a thoughtful way, with an emphasis on the response of the Church and community. Guided by prayer, we learn from fellow members as well as outside speakers. Members frequently learn about volunteer opportunities that speak to their heart and become volunteers themselves. Over the years, we’ve explored a diverse array of issues, including local and global poverty, the environment, racism in its many forms, human trafficking, refugees, and immigration.
There are regular opportunities to immerse into the community, either through a service project or by visiting a Catholic community whom we don’t yet know, such as St. Joseph’s Maronite, and Chinese-American and African American parishes.
Fully aware that good people may disagree on issues that are complex and perplexing, it is a primary priority to nurture a positive and love-filled environment. The aim of our discussions is to seek understanding, not to persuade.
Our next meeting is Tuesday, August 23. One of our members will describe his efforts to build housing for low-income senior citizens in the Atlanta area. Look for details in the bulletin or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Walking with Moms in Need: Supporting local pregnant & parenting women
- A conversation with Monsignor Simon Assamoah
- Racism and the Native American experience
- The top 10 takeaways of Laudato Si (Pope Francis encyclical on the environment)
- Men’s night shelter
- Sts Peter & Paul food pantry
- Grace House (HIV residents) meal preparation & serving
- Archdiocesan Good Friday pilgrimage
When you hear Women’s Guild it is likely your mouth starts to water thinking of delicious desserts. And while the Guild members annually show off their baking skills, they are so much more than the desserts they make. They are a group of women who not only support our parish’s projects but also work to serve local and other worthy charities. The monies raised from their dessert sales support Catholic Relief Services, St. Vincent de Paul, and Missionaries of Charity to name a few.
The Circles support their members as well. They’ve helped each other through times of great difficulty such as illnesses, loss of family members and loss of spouses. They’ve also celebrated together; new arrivals to the family, weddings, arrival of grandchildren are all occasions rejoiced over together. To put it simply, they are there for each other through good times and bad.
To be able to build friendships with like-minded Catholic women at members’ homes for evenings of food and drink and to also serve the parish, local and other charities is truly a blessing. Here are some of the activities and charities supported by the Women’s Guild:
- Advent by Candlelight
- Lenten Retreat
- Back-to-School Backpack Project
- Easter Vigil RCIA Dinner
- Men’s Homeless Shelter Dinners
- Provide hot lunch for Habitat for Humanity building volunteers
- Fish Fry Desserts
- Christmas Giving Tree
- Catholic Relief Services
- Missionaries of Charity
- Sandwich Ministry
- Pregnancy Crisis Center
The Women’s Guild hopes you’ll consider joining them to build new friendships and share your time and talent to help others. If you’d like more information, please contact email@example.com.
We are so richly blessed in our Catholic Church to have such a wide array of beautiful, prayerful, uplifting and inspiring music. This did not come to be by accident.
In the Holy Bible, there are over 400 references to singing. In these 400+ references, there are 50 direct commands to sing.
“And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another [in] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Ephesians 5:18-20).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16).
There is an entire book of songs in the Bible dedicated to singing the praises of Almighty God…the Book of Psalms.
“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Psalm 96:1-2)
“God has gone up with a shout; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. For God is king over all the earth; sing hymns of praise.” (Psalm 47: 6-8)
We have been called to imitate Almighty God in all ways, so does God also sing? Yes.
“The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, who will sing joyfully because of you.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Jesus and his disciples sang on the eve of his passion and crucifixion.
“Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30)
These Scriptural examples form the foundation of the importance, the necessity and the obligation of the Catholic Church and literally ALL of creation to sing Almighty God’s praises.
The liturgy of the Catholic Church understands this and puts it into action. Every liturgy in the Church calls for the Gloria, the Gospel Acclamation, the Psalm, the Holy, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Agnus Dei to be sung (if possible). The Sacramentary also includes many parts of the mass that can be chanted or intoned. The truth is, it is possible to sing, chant and intone the entire liturgy.
Why stop there? We as a Church have also set to music our great devotion and love for Mother Mary. We have set to music many of the prayers of the Saints. We sing at happy events such as a wedding, we also sing at sad events such as a funeral. There can be singing or chanting at every Sacrament or Rite of the Church.
There is a deep, holy and profound joy, peace and grace that comes from singing the praises of Almighty God. It is why Almighty God has given us this unfathomable gift.
The music ministry at All Saints needs you. There is a holy song in each one of you that needs to be sung.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25: 31-46)
St. Vincent de Paul was founded by a college student and strong Catholic, Frederick Ozanam and a group of his peers in Paris in 1883. Frederick was challenged by a contemporary, “What is your church doing for the poor of this city?” This ignited a spark in Frederick and his peers who set out to serve those in need and created the first Conference. This modest initiative has grown into a global organization of over 800,000 lay members in 154 countries and 44,600 Conferences.
The mission of St. Vincent de Paul is: 1. to individually, grow in holiness, 2. develop friendships with other like-minded members, Vincentians, and 3. be in service to those who are in need and suffering through visiting them in their homes and identifying proper resources that meet their current needs.
The All Saints Conference serves those in need in Dunwoody, parts of Chamblee, Doraville and Sandy Springs. Pre -Covid, we often visited our clients in their homes but due to the pandemic were forced to understand our client’s needs via the phone and are now starting to reimplement our visits. The most frequent request is for rent, utilities, food, and clothing. We are also asked to help with transportation, phone, and medical bills.
As a Conference we are fortunate to be located near our Georgia Conference Support Center, or central office in Chamblee. The Conference Support Center has a well-stocked food pantry that feeds over 200 families monthly preventing hunger. The Center also has a pharmacy that provides wellness education and fills approximately 1,000 maintenance medication prescriptions monthly, improving the quality of life for many. There are several other programs, too numerous to name here, including the Thrift Store in Chamblee that allows us to provide clients with clothing and furniture.
A significant program to highlight is the Motel to Home program. A record number of families and children currently live in extended stay motels. These motels have become the new “homeless shelters” of the suburbs. It is heart wrenching to see a school bus pull up to the parking lot of a motel and view so many children exit the bus. This is their primary residence. The Motel to Home program offers families an opportunity to find more stable, long-term housing.
The Pandemic impacted many families, and we continue to strive to “prevent homelessness, fight hunger, and change lives.” The All Saints Conference is extremely grateful for the kindness and generosity our parishioners have shown our Conference throughout the years. Thank you for your time, resources and support of our annual food and clothing drives.
We welcome all who are interested in our ministry. Visit our webpage or join us the first Thursday of each month at the church Social Hall at 6:30pm. Contact us at 404-884-8361 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You will be serving God by serving others – this ministry will feed your soul!
Evelyn Collazo, Co-President, St. Vincent de Paul, All Saints Conference
At a General Audience in August 2001, Pope John Paul II specifically addressed altar servers among the crowd of young people gathered in St. Peter’s Square saying “Your commitment to the altar is not only a duty but a great honor, a true holy service.” He added “…you are far more than mere “helpers of the parish priest. Above all, you are servants of Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest. Thus, you altar servers especially are called to be young friends of Jesus.”
It is essential that our kids are exposed to a life of service as early as possible. Altar serving is one such opportunity at All Saints and who better to start with than our Lord Jesus Christ! And yet, the winds of Western culture often drive our young people off course and away from church and family. Many of us experienced similar gusts in our own youth blowing us farther out into open water than even we intended. Those that drifted a bit often were surprised to find that they had the navigational skills to find the way back.
The Altar Server Ministry also looks for opportunities for our kids to serve outside of the mass. The Pope went on to say “The altar server often holds a candle in his hand. How can we not think of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘You are the light of the world’. Your service cannot be restricted to the inside of a church. It must shine out in your everyday life: at school, in the family and in the different social contexts, for those who want to serve Jesus Christ in a church must be his witnesses everywhere.”
A core goal of the Altar Server Ministry is that our kids grow in their faith to become the young Catholic leaders of tomorrow. Boys and girls may begin altar serving in the parish as long as they have received their First Holy Communion. Some want to start right away and some wait a year or two (even middle school!) until they are sure of the calling they feel to serve their parish through the mass and their community through service projects.
Two common hesitations for new server families are “I’m not sure we have the time” and some version of “my child could never get up in front of the congregation”. To the latter we say “yes, they can!”, and the pride and confidence that builds from doing so will last a lifetime. We’ve had introverts too shy to say a word as well as fidgety extroverts become some of our best servers. They also find that being in front of several hundred people is not near as scary as it might seem even to some of their parents.
As for time commitment, all we ask is one mass per month arriving at least 15 minutes early and staying 10 minutes afterwards for an extra 25 minutes per month beyond the mass itself. Most of our kids are very involved in other activities, ministries, first jobs, travel sports, and scouts. They go to public schools, Catholic schools, and even homeschools.
The kids truly find joy in serving the mass. Improvement, not perfection, is our motto as they grow in their knowledge of the mass while developing those navigational skills they might one day need for themselves or perhaps to be a beacon for someone else’s faith journey.
God bless you all and your families!
John Nelson, Altar Server Ministry Coordinator
The Preschool at All Saints was established in 2005. I have been blessed to have been the director of this special school since we first opened our doors.
The Preschool offers a loving, Catholic learning environment for children ages 12 months – Five years. Our innovative curriculum infuses spiritual development rich in our Catholic faith with the Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards, preparing children for kindergarten and beyond; instilling values and love in the hearts of the children.
The PAS loving environment includes:
- Research based developmentally appropriate practices
- Integration of current educational research for an innovative curriculum and school culture
- Highly trained staff – 10+ annual hours of professional development
- Beautifully and intentionally designed classrooms and learning environments
- Natural and traditional outdoor play spaces including a school garden
- Health and nutrition emphasized through seed to table fruit and vegetable program-including an emphasis on sensory & motor development and daily active physical play
- Motor Development Room
- Full gymnasium with bikes and trikes for large motor play on inclement weather days
- Thoughtful weekly updates of classroom experiences with photographs making learning visible to families
- Family involvement through volunteer programs and social events
- Art Studio and teacher
- Music and Movement Program and teacher
- Religion program based on the Montessori-based Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
- Monthly Child-lead Chapel based on the elements of the Holy Mass
Be a part of our special preschool family! Tours can be scheduled at https://allsaintsdunwoody.org/Preschool.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or to learn more at 770-913-0973 or email@example.com.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Working with the high school and middle school teens of this parish has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. From the outside looking in, it may seem like the vast majority of time at youth group is spent eating pizza and playing games, but there is so much more than that happening at any one of our Life Teen or Edge nights here at All Saints. Each of these nights, while pizza and games are often involved, are all opportunities for the youth of the parish to encounter Christ, sometimes in a completely new way.
Our nights and curriculums cover a vast range of topics, from the lives of individual saints, to Catholic teaching on relevant current events, connections between scripture and the mass, and much more, but these teachings are all different avenues of achieving the same goal: giving the young men and women of our parish the opportunity to encounter the living God. To that end, I can honestly say that there is nothing more exciting and fulfilling in this world than being able to witness the moment when a young person falls in love with Jesus Christ. That is what is at the heart of this ministry.
One event that offers just a brief “snapshot” of everything that happens within the program is the end of the year lock-in. It is easily one of the most tiring nights of the whole year, but also one of the most fun and rewarding. To spare the vast majority of details, most of the lock-in is exactly what you would expect, games, movies, bounce houses, capture the flag, the classics. However, what made this year’s event so special was the fact that during the middle of the night, around 11:30pm, after capture the flag had ended and before we inflated the big projector screen for the movie in the gym, we offered adoration and confession in the Church.
First, it was amazing to see the priests willing to get up and come out for something that late in the evening, but it was equally amazing to see how many of the teens (and volunteers) entered into that time of prayer and availed themselves of the sacrament, even in the chaos of the lock-in, when that invitation was extended. In that moment I was reminded so much of how God continues to call us deeper into relationship with Him, no matter what is happening around us. He is there in the joys and sorrows of life, but He is also there in the middle of late-night conversations and time spent playing games with friends. Our faith is beautiful in that way. God wants to be present and part of our lives no matter what is going on, and He is always there, waiting for us to allow Him in more completely.
Our Life Teen and Edge programs are amazing resources for the teens of this parish but also for the adults who volunteer. We, Jessica Duron and myself, have collected just a few quotes from some of the teens who currently are or have been active members of these programs and asked them what being involved meant to them. This is what they had to say:
“Life Teen is a community like none other. It gives people the opportunity to make new connections with others from different schools and backgrounds which is a gift very few other programs can offer.”
“I have enjoyed the past year very much. I have made a lot more friends and have gotten closer to my other friends. I learned so much more about my religion and have gotten closer to God. I look forward to the next couple of years and doing more fun activities with Life Teen.”
“For me Life Teen is all about connections. The bonds between other teens, leaders, and God himself are truly like none other and keep me coming back week after week.”
All teens and young people are welcome to our events. We would love to have you join us. Likewise, if anyone over the age of 21 reads this and feels something stirring inside of them that this might be a ministry that you are interested in becoming involved with, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to discuss the possibilities with you.
Life Teen/Confirmation/EDGE Coordinator
Fear and anxiety are trying to take hold of us. As Christians, we know that God doesn’t want this for us…or at least he doesn’t want us to face them on our own. He is always by our side, giving us the tools to battle them. But are our eyes open to Him?
Three years ago, I sat in the pew during Mass as a glorified jungle gym. I was doing my best to keep my children quiet and reverent, but I was full of the anxiety of judgment. I looked around the sanctuary, and I didn’t recognize one person. I felt alone. I wanted to enjoy the Mass to its fullest potential, but I was only going through the motions of our Catholic faith. I wanted more for myself and for my family, but I was fearful of where to begin.
While having coffee with a fellow parishioner, she shared her experience of attending the Women’s Welcome Retreat (formally CRHP). She was positively glowing from being ignited by the Holy Spirit. Hearing her talk about the women she met and experience she had made me want the same for myself. The Holy Spirit was tapping me on the shoulder, but fear and anxiety tried to creep in again. How was I going to make time for a weekend retreat with two small children, a busy work schedule, and a million activities? But God knew I needed to put myself first. So, I signed up for the retreat, and everything I worried about fell into place. He had taken care of it all.
The Welcome Retreat was the renewal of my faith and relationship with God that I was looking for. Every meal time conversation, every small group discussion, every group activity was filled with warmth and connection. I had found a group of faith-filled women to share my fear and anxieties with. Not only was I no longer alone, they reminded me that the love and support I was seeking and feeling was from the Lord.
Until I attended the retreat, I hadn’t knowingly experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. But as I reflected on the weekend, He was there every step of the way. Now, I spend more time praying, reading the Bible, and seeking out religious experiences. Knowing that God is supporting my every step, my fear and anxiety have lifted. And the best part is that I am not the only one benefiting! I have become a better wife, mother, friend, and parishioner.
So, in conclusion, I ask you to pray for the Holy Spirit to intercede in the hearts of the women in our parish. Ask for them to be given the courage to sign up for the Women’s Welcome Retreat this September. To take the step to become the best-version-of-themselves, to grow in community with the women of our parish, and to experience the amazing power of the Lord, our God.
May God bless you!
Erin Wang, Spiritual Director
Women’s Welcome Retreat: September 17-18, 2022
“Do not fear: I am with you, do not be anxious. I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“The Legion of Mary! What a perfectly chosen name”! Pope Pius XI
Last August in 2021, the Legion of Mary had a world-wide celebration of 100 years of service. We were fortunate to have Msgr. Marren celebrate this special event at All Saints Catholic Church.
From its humble beginning in Dublin, Ireland, the Legion of Mary has grown to become the largest Catholic lay apostolate in the world. The first Praesidium of the Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff on August 7, 1921. From that date until his death on November 7, 1980, he guided the world-wide extension of the Legion with immense dedication. His insight into the role of the Blessed Virgin, and the mission of the church are reflected in the Legion Handbook.
The objectives of the Legion of Mary are as follows:
The personal sanctification of its members, who, taking Mary as their role model strive to imitate her virtues of Faith, Charity, and Humility.
The spread of devotion to Mary primarily by encouraging the recitation of the rosary. (Mary’s request at Fatima).
The performance of apostolic work under the direction of our pastor.
We currently have two different types of membership available: Active and Auxiliary. The only requirement is a willingness to fulfill each duty which membership in the Legion requires.
One of the most rewarding gifts you receive with membership is the special bond you share with our Blessed Mother. Legionaries from around the world all cherish this gift. We strive to foster this in the hearts, and souls of all those we meet.
Being involved in the Legion of Mary has helped me grow closer to Jesus through Mary. Mary tells us at the wedding of Cana “do whatever He tells you”. The request sounds so simple, yet it’s so difficult to fulfill. Through prayer we can discern what God is calling us to do. It’s not always easy following Jesus. The journey can be long, and difficult. In my heart I know God is calling me to be part of the Legion. We all need strength for the journey. Perhaps, the strength is found in each other. To understand, and encourage each other along the way. Finally, to discover what God is calling us to do.
Our presidium meets every Wednesday in the parish library at 7:30pm. Anyone who loves praying the rosary, and has a deep devotion to our Blessed Mother is welcome to attend. Visit our webpage or email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or want to learn more.
By Kathy Richardson
Q: What do a Bishop from Sri Lanka, a canon of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (and former private secretary of Pope St. John Paul II), orphans in the D.R. Congo, and seminarians studying in Africa and Asia have in common?
A: They are all recipients of support from the generous parishioners of All Saints!
Over the years, All Saints parishioners, through the leadership and support of Msgr. Marren, have participated in collections to support the work of bishops, priests, and missionaries worldwide to empower the poor and share the gospel of Jesus Christ through partnership with Catholic World Mission (CWM).
Through parish appeals and as donors of Catholic World Mission, All Saints parishioners have supported building orphanages, water wells, churches, and schools. Beyond construction projects, parishioners have also supported evangelization efforts and the physical and educational nourishment of school children and orphans. Additionally, All Saints has supported the formation of seminarians worldwide through CWM’s Seminarian Support Program. Some of our All Saints parishioners and clergies, including Father Dan, Monsignor Fennessy, and myself, have traveled to visit these projects (such as those in Ghana, Jamaica, and Mexico for example).
Aside from taking collections, All Saints has housed many international CWM partners in the rectory when visiting the U.S. For example, All Saints has hosted several bishops such as Bishop Harry Perera (Sri Lanka), Archbishops George Antonysamy and Filipe Neri (India), Bishop Pierre Celestin (D.R. Congo), Archbishop John Kwofie (Ghana), and Archbishop Emery Kabongo – the canon of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and former private secretary of the late Pope Saint John Paul II. All Saints has also welcomed Superiors of religious orders and priests, including our beloved Father Anthony Eshun (Ghana). And who could forget our current visitors, Msgr. Simon Assamoah (Ghana) and Father Donatien (D.R. Congo).
If you visit CWM’s website (www.CatholicWorldMission.org), you will find one of its unique programs: giving out monstrances (for free) to parishes worldwide to promote Eucharistic adoration. Many of you may not be aware that the idea of giving out monstrances came from our very own, Msgr. Marren! Thank you, Msgr. Marren!
Together, CWM and All Saints have done so much to live out the call to discipleship and build out God’s Kingdom on earth. Thanks to your generosity, we have done so much for the poor around the world by providing both material and spiritual support to communities that need them most. We have taken the love, concern, and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ to so many people and places.
On behalf of the board of Directors of Catholic World Mission, its staff, and myself, the Executive Director of Catholic World Mission and your deacon, I send our DEEPEST GRATITUDE. Words cannot express our appreciation for your continued generosity. We cannot thank you enough; only the good Lord can thank you sufficiently.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Deacon Rick Medina
Executive Director of Catholic World Mission
To see the pictures and videos of your generosity, please visit www.CatholicWorldMission.org.
When Msgr. Marren asked me to write about my experiences at All Saints, I decided to offer you one of the most impactful experiences, namely, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
We are taught from a young age that God is everywhere and that Jesus is in our heart always. These simple truths help us know God’s closeness at the earliest of ages. Human beings have a need for companionship – family, friends, co-workers – the physical presence of others in our lives. God, in His wisdom, gives us His physical presence in Adoration, a unique and tangible way to be with Him outside of Mass. This is one of those “ministries” where God does the ministering. You don’t have to prep for it by reading or studying or researching. He does the work. I remember once when a new Guardian signed up for my hour. Gregg was completely new to what Adoration was about, and he spoke with the Adoration Coordinator for some tips and then started his first week. After about three weeks, I asked Gregg how it was going. And he said it was good, but he didn’t know if he was really doing it right. I said there wasn’t really a “right” way to do Adoration, you just – and he chimed right in finishing the sentence, “show up.” Bingo. What took me years to figure out, this guy gets in a few weeks. If you asked fifty different Guardians how they spent their Adoration time, you’d get fifty different answers. God guides everyone differently and does the work. As Gregg said, you just “show up.
Adoration has enriched my life by increasing my trust in God. Why would anyone spend their precious time sitting in front of a piece of bread if He wasn’t really there? We show up and He’s always there. With every problem and decision we bring to him, He’s there making lemonade out of our lemons even when we discern incorrectly.
This spills over into a greater trust in the power of the other sacraments as well. I don’t know why, but it does. If He’s there on the altar in Adoration, He’s there in the Mass. He’s there in the Confessional. He’s there in the Anointing and all the rest. Jesus is no less present than the priests as He works through them in the sacraments. I remember going through a long and difficult family situation. I can only credit Adoration for getting me through this time. Somewhere along the way, I had to cede control to the Lord and trust. As we all know, this is not easy and often has to be done over and over. He does the work. We just have to show up.
Before COVID we had Adoration every day at All Saints, and I was the “Friday Coordinator,” which was code for “make sure people show up on Fridays.” This was an easy job as the Friday Team was as devoted a bunch as they come. I remember one couple suffered a devastating family loss, and a substitute filled their hour that week. The following week, amid the heartbreak and pain, there they were back in Adoration covering their time slot and kneeling before the Lord. What a striking witness this was for me of persevering faith in Him and the power of His presence in Adoration.
A Guardian once told me he always prayed his best when he was in Adoration. At home, when he prayed, there were a thousand distractions that tended to creep in. The silence, the presence of Jesus right there in front of you, the peace – these helped his prayer life tremendously. You and me both, brother! The journey continues for all of us. What a gift to have the Eucharist as the source of our Catholic faith. What a blessing to have Adoration at All Saints to help us live this faith to the full. And all we have to do is show up!
By Kitty Moots