Thank you for coming to worship with us! My name is Mary Sampey, and I am the Director of Evangelization for the Connellsville Catholic Community. What that basically means is that I am here to challenge our city of Connellsville to “lead ALL whose lives we touch into a living relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.” I am writing you today to make you aware of all of the amazing opportunities we have here in the “Jewel of the Yough.”
As a mother of three young children under the age of six, I understand that your lives are very busy. It can be very difficult to make time for everything being offered. Our Church is here to help you and be there for you! Our Church is here to make your life easier, not more difficult. Our Church is here to introduce you to the person of Jesus Christ, who loves you more than you could ever imagine.
We can teach someone everything there is to know about the Catholic faith, but if having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not at the center, than what we have taught means nothing!
Maybe you have been inactive in the past. Maybe you have not been faithful in being involved, or you are not sure how to start. That is alright! I myself had been away from the Church for many years. Although I had grown up Catholic, I never knew that having a personal relationship with Jesus was important; I didn’t even know that Jesus WANTED to have a relationship with me; but it was because someone loved me back into the faith that I am here, and it is now my responsibility to meet others where they are and gently lead them to the truth of the Gospel through love. I also have the pleasure of being married to a Protestant, who constantly challenges me to bring the BEST of the Protestant Church (welcome, hospitality, personal relationship with Jesus) into the Catholic realm. This has been a real blessing to me and to our community.
I am constantly in a state of gratitude that we have Father Bob and Father Dan; who both create a non-judgmental and welcoming Church environment to come to! Whether you are an active parishioner, or visiting us for the first time, you will always be greeted with open and loving arms. Having been in Connellsville for only 3 years, I can honestly say that I have NEVER experienced such a strong sense of family and community like our 3 partner parishes! Through the joys of my life in the past few years (new job, new home, our 3rd child) and the sorrows (job losses and uncertainties, my diagnosis with lupus, and the passing away of my sister); I would have NEVER have been able to SURVIVE without this Church family!!
Here are some ways that YOU can encounter Christ in our Church family…
Foundations of Faith: Each month we come together to encounter Christ and each other. Through dinner and table fellowship, small group discussion, and powerful witness talks, we hope to develop authentic disciples of Jesus Christ who possess a true sense of family and community. This endeavor is for the entire parish; including babysitting, Prek-6 break out groups, and all Adults.
Mission 119 and Bible Discovery Packs: A new ministry we will begin this fall to encounter the Word of God. The adults will use an App and meet once a month for community building, while children will take “packs” of crafts and activities home to make the Bible come to life.
Children’s Liturgy: At the 9:30 and 11:30 Mass, we engage our youngest members to learn more about the Word of God. Our youth also take a children’s bulletin home. We also have a library in all 3 of our Churches in which Children can check out books.
Vacation Bible School: Save the date for June 19th-23rd from 6-8pm at Geibel Catholic!
Youth Group: Grades 7-12 meet twice a month in our Youth Apartment: “The 153.” This is not merely a “fun” meeting space, it is a safe-haven where our youth actually want to go to learn, pray, and grow spiritually in community with one another.
Young Adults: We engage this age group by being a real presence in the community of Connellsville, as our faith is so much more than our physical Church buildings. Through community outreach we not only serve others, but build friendships and relationships along the way. Being a young adult myself, often times evangelization simply means going to Bud’s and talking about the love of the Lord over pizza and beer…and there is nothing wrong with that!
There are many other opportunities to get closer to Jesus here in our Connellsville Catholic Community, and I pray that you will take that first step and contact us to get to learn more! I can speak for myself, Fr. Bob and Fr. Dan in saying that we are ALL readily available to you through a phone call, email, text, or even Facebook message! I thank you for ANY small part you allow me to play in your journey of faith.
Christ’s peace and our Mother Mary’s love,
Mary Sampey- Director of Evangelization