Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During the past year our faith formation team has been reviewing how best to partner with parents to pass on the gift of faith from one generation to the next. Looking at ways to best serve the families of our parish as first teachers of faith, the faith formation team has reorganized to better partner with you and to implement the strategic initiative of the parish to better engage all parishioners in the mission of the parish. To do that, we are unifying our formation programs for children and youth to be small group relationship focused with parents partnering as mentors in passing on the richness of our Catholic faith. Parents will have opportunities to grow in faith in small groups right alongside their children. Small group opportunities for formation of children will be offered after the 9:30 am and 11:30 am masses and for youth after the 5:30 pm mass on Sundays. Part of realizing the mission of our parish and strategic initiative vision meant reorganizing to have a formation small group leader oversee the unity of the vision. Jules Weber, Assistant Principal and Director of Formation and Evangelization will provide the leadership of this new model assisted by Jenn Fiduccia who has been very successful in engaging our middle school and high school youth in faith formation and ministry within the parish.

Following the retirement of Maureen Leahy and Gladys Whitehouse, two new pastoral staff members will join our formation team in the next two weeks to support the implementation of this vision.

Mrs. Dawn Eagan will serve as the Coordinator of Family Formation for Children. Dawn, an active steward of St. Francis of Assisi, brings vast experience in education and faith formation leadership from preschool to secondary school age levels. She has served as a catechist, Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteer, and currently an educational leader.  She holds a Masters in Education from Loyola College and looks forward to this new opportunity to use her gifts and talents to serve our parish.

Mr. Matthew Merry joins us as the Coordinator of Family Formation for Youth. A graduate of Belmont Abby with a degree in Theology, Master Catechist in the Diocese of Raleigh, and member of the Diocesan Youth Board, he is passionate about Youth Ministry. Matt brings a strong background in small group experience as a Campus Minister at Elon College and more recently as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Holy Infant in Durham.

Dawn and Matt are ecstatic to serve the community in this exciting approach to formation. Throughout the summer, in the Formation and Evangelization section of the Bulletin, insights will be offered into how this small group approach will fulfill the mission of our parish. Registration information along with ways you can be involved with your family will be shared as well.

I’m grateful to the leadership of Jules Weber in helping us to grow in holiness by encountering Christ in word, sacrament and one another through faith formation. Please contact Jules jules.weber@stfrancisraleigh.org for further information.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark