February 4, 2018

I.  Cathedral Pre-School Registration for Saint Stephen Cathedral parishioners and currently enrolled families begins February 5, 2018. Registration will be open to the public on February 12th. The Five Star status granted recently to our Cathedral Pre-School honors the professional and caring commitment of our teachers & staff, along with the leadership of Pam Weafer, our director. Over 95% of our families with children in our preschool hear about it by word-of-mouth. Spread the good news!

II.  Owensboro Catholic Schools Registration: Catholic schools, which focus on educating the total person-body, mind, and spirit—have been in existence in America for over 200 years. Statistics show: 1) Catholic schools save the USA over $20 billion annually based on the average per pupil cost of educating public school students; 2) over 99% of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 85% attend a four-year college; 3) students from Catholic schools demonstrate higher academic achievement then their public school peers from similar social economic backgrounds; 4) Catholic school graduates or more likely to pray daily, attend Church more often, retain a Catholic identity as an adult, and donate more to the church. They are more apt to vote and be civically engaged and are committed to service as adults. 5) It is an interesting fact that six out of nine Supreme Court justices attended Catholic schools.

The parishes in the Owensboro Diocese contribute a greater percentage of monies to support Catholic schools than most other parishes in the U.S. dioceses. This is a sign of our support/love for Catholic schools and their mission to form our children with the mind of Jesus. I want to encourage all of our parents to consider Catholic schools for your children.  Student assistance funds are available.

III. FORMED.org:  The St. Stephen Cathedral Adult Faith Formation Team has recently subscribed our parish to a wonderful new online resource that you can access from your own home, as well as in group settings at the parish. FORM-ED is a revolutionary online resource that provides access to the best Catholic audio talks, movies, e-books, and video-based studies.  These materials are from trusted providers like the USCCB, Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, Catholic Answers, Sophia Institute Press, St. Paul Center, and more!  You can listen to audio presentations from Bishop Robert Barron, Dr. Scott Hahn, Crystaline Evert, and others. Think along the lines of a Catholic Netflix, only even better.

FORMED presents a tremendous opportunity to help Catholics change the way they consume media and develop a daily habit of faith formation and prayer.  You can access full-length Catholic movies for the whole family, or download e-books to read while you sit at the beach during Spring Break, or grow in your faith by accessing full faith formation programs of study at home.

Members of the Adult Faith Formation Team will be available this weekend to help you sign up into our parish Formed account. IT’S FREE! What a tremendous opportunity for all of us to continue to be “formed” in our faith!

IV.  “Pope Francis: Envisioning a Social Revolution Driven by Love” will be presented by Dr. Gerald Mannion, on Thursday, February 8th, at 7:00 p.m. at Brescia University at the Taylor Lecture Hall in the Science Building. Our speaker sits in the chair of Catholic Studies in the department of Theology at Georgetown University. Everyone is welcome!