Living Our Faith at Home


Welcoming everyone to proclaim and live the joy of the Gospel.

 

NW Catholic Young Adult Ministry has been steadily growing even amidst difficulties presented by COVID. Based out of St. Catherine of Siena but effectively serving many young adults on the north side of Atlanta, the group has grown in numbers in our daily and weekly gatherings.

  • The group has prayed Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours daily at 9pm (the Liturgy of the Hours is the other major public form of prayer of the Church--other than the Mass--which priests and religious are required to pray daily).  Men's and women's groups have been discussing the Mass and how Catholic social teaching applies to the workplace. Fr. Neil and the well-published theologian Dr. Paul Thigpen have been leading a weekly discussion on the Catechism on Thursdays.
  • Each Friday is virtual game night. And on August 15, a group of over 30 young adults completed a 33-day preparation to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary, which St. Louis de Montfort calls the "fastest, surest, easiest, and most perfect" way to sainthood.
  • We are gradually beginning to gather for in-person events (outside as much as possible: hiking and shooting the Hooch), but in the meantime, Zoom and a very active GroupMe have been keeping us rooted in community and growing in faith.

Please visit our website at nwcatholicyam.com and sign up for our email list and someone will reach out to you to welcome you.


If you are looking for ways to stay connected to parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas, we encourage you to join us in prayer for our daily Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. 

When: Rosary at 12:40 PM, and Divine Chaplet at 3 PM
Where: Call (224) 501-3412 enter code: 522-566-253 when prompted

Steubenville - For Adults & Teens!
Adults:  July 19, Steubenville Conference brings you a FREE Night of Hope. Click here for more information and to register. 

Teens: Join thousands of other Catholics for a virtual Steubenville Conference!
Starting July 17 – 18, Steubenville will present a live virtual weekend conference. The fee of $40 and also includes a 30-day access to Real Life Catholic's I AM a website dedicated to Spiritual well-being.


The Domestic Church
The word “church” has a variety of different meanings and usages.  Perhaps the most common and obvious meaning and usage is that it’s the name we give to the building in which Christians gather to worship.  Sometimes, though, the word is used to refer to the hierarchy or the Magisterium as when, for example, you hear people say, “The Church teaches….”   The term can also be used to describe the believers themselves, the People of God, wherever they may be—worshiping in the church or bringing the presence of Christ into the world.

The Catholic Church has a particular structure.  There have been different ways to present that structure over the years but the way that I find most helpful is to picture four concentric circles.    The large outer circle represents the Universal Church led by the bishop of Rome (the pope) and all bishops in union with him.  Within that circle, there is the local diocesan church led by its local bishop.  The third circle is the local parish church where we celebrate the sacraments and grow in the love of Christ and one another.  The fourth circle, and the most intimate, is the family.  [Note:  At St. Thomas Aquinas, we have a fifth circle within the church that we call Small Faith Communities—parishioners who gather regularly in their homes to be church for each other and for the world.  Ask them to describe what it’s like to be in a Small Faith Community and you’ll often hear, “We’re a family.”]

One of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium (“Light of the Nations”), describes the family, the smallest body of gathered believers in Christ, as the “domestic church” because it is the first place where young baptized Christians learn about their faith.  Though recovered only recently, the term dates all the way back to the first century A.D.  The Greek word ecclesiola referred to “little church.”  Our Early Church Fathers understood that the home was fertile ground for discipleship and growth in everyday holiness because the home is the primary place where we practice intimately loving other people.

This time has called us all to a deeper understanding of what it means to be church.  Being unable to go to the church building has invited us to be much more intentional about being church at home.  Our Small Faith Communities and adult education classes have continued to gather together through various platforms like Zoom to continue to study together, pray together, and serve however and wherever we can.  And throughout this time, the Faith Formation Staff has been sending home suggestions for families to strengthen and deepen the faith of families in the domestic church. 

Something we can all do to strengthen and deepen our faith and our trust in God is to bless one another.  Every Christian can bless and it is in the home where Christian families “exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1657).  Click on the link and discover reasons and ways to bless and receive a blessing from those whom you hold most dear.

Terry Zobel
Adult Education and Evangelization Coordinator 


Catholic Periodicals

 Prayer & Reflection

Atlanta Area Retreat Centers

For Catechists

Many of the above resources are available in the parish library so you can see which one(s) best suit your needs.