One Last Christmas Thanks

The Christmas Season ended last Sunday night after evening prayer. I unplugged the outdoor, rectory Christmas lights Sunday night, not having time to take them down, since I was guest teacher for the eighth grade PREP class. I hoped to get those down, as well as indoor decorations, on my day off on Wednesday. I felt blessed by a great Christmas, and particularly appreciated considering the preaching how the theme of “welcome” permeates the infancy narratives.

Hopefully, you said your last “Merry Christmas” to friends and family on Sunday. I would like to offer one last joyful “Thank You” to so many who helped make our Incarnation’s celebration of the Incarnation beautiful and welcoming! Thanks to:

* musicians, choir members, cantors, and leaders Alex Abuyuan, Kim Condi, Sherri Masline and Kevin Samblanet

* those who donated poinsettias in the name of a loved one and those who decorated.

* those who helped welcome parishioners, guests and visitors.

* those good stewards of their time, talent and treasure all year, and those who were particularly generous this Christmas Season.

Please see the following article by Joe Roalef, our PREP assistant. I asked him to pen a few words about the great things that are happening in PREP, which is also responsible for dimensions of sacramental prep and catechesis at Incarnation School.

Dear Incarnation Parishioners,

My name is Joe Roalef and I’ve been blessed to be a member of the Incarnation staff as the CRE assistant since last June. I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. I majored in physics at the University of Dayton for two years with plans of becoming a scientist before God called me to discern with the Salesians of St. John Bosco. After discerning which branch of the Salesian family the Lord was calling me to, I made my Apostolic Promises as a Salesian of St. John Bosco for life. Our mission is to offer ourselves to works of charity and education for the young and the poor in the spirit of St. John Bosco, in the service of the local church.

I completed my undergraduate degree and teacher certification at Don Bosco College in New Jersey. I also did graduate studies in theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum and did further course work at Franciscan University and Wright State University.

I began teaching in 1977 at the junior high and high school level. I have been involved in Catholic education ever since then as a CRE and also many years as a teacher, youth minister, and summer camp director.

Here at Incarnation I have the great pleasure of assisting Molli Glowacki with the PREP program.  Molli’s hard work and dedication have been a great inspiration to me!  We oversee the religious education of 250 students from our parish with the help of over 20 catechists. We also provide on-going training for religious certification for the catechists, with this year’s focus on the Holy Eucharist. Additionally, we direct or assist with the sacramental programs for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation for both PREP and Incarnation School students.

This year, Leah Coghlan, school principal, initiated a new segment on the school morning news broadcast called “Today in the Church” and has given me the opportunity to talk to the whole school community about the saint of the day several times a week.

Also here at PREP we have just started publishing a monthly religious newsletter (called The Young Saints Club) each month for both PREP and school children. Each newsletter contains stories of saints celebrated that month, a question and answer box, a religious riddle of the month, Bible stories, modern-day heroes, and several puzzles. Catechists in the PREP program and religion teachers at the school are free to use the newsletters as supplements to their lessons or to send home with the students.  Another PREP ministry is a series of free booklets on Saints, Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, etc. for young people. Feel free to contact me if you would like any of them.

Be assured that Molli and I are praying for you and please keep us in your prayers!

Yours in the Lord,

Joe Roalef