Sacramental Preparation of Children

HELP US OUT!!!!

“Help us grow strong Trees of Faith in our Parish”

THERE WILL BE ABOUT 400 CHILDREN GOING THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS THIS YEAR.

THERE IS NOT A BETTER WAY TO EXPERIENCE AND BE CONSCIOUS ABOUT THE MIRACLES IN OUR LIVES THAN SHARING OUR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE WITH THE CHILDREN.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A TEACHER AND THE COMMITMENT IS ONLY ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH DEPENDING ON YOUR SCHEDULE.

TRAINING AND MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED.

COME, MAKE SOME FRIENDS AND BE PART OF OUR SACRAMENTAL PREP TEAM.

For more information call Sacramental Prep. Coordinator Sofia Balcorta 403-254-6878 ext. 102 or email to sacramentalprep@stpatrickcalgary.com

 


My Tree of Faith

By Sofia Balcorta

 

I come from the south of Mexico, land of heat, dust and moisture. Winter, eternal snow, change in season and evergreen trees were a thing of story books and movies. I always thought everything was made up to make things look more “Christmassy”. Snow days were a myth and still are, as in my ten years in Calgary school has never been cancelled because of snow.

In Mexico rain is a good enough excuse to not attend a commitment; in Canada if you say you did not attend because it was snowing, better be ready to get some looks. Commitment is one of the great treasures that this country holds. I am proud to hold a Canadian passport and to be called a Canadian Citizen. I like curling, I have gone skiing once and am still finding my way towards hockey, but I do have a Calgary Flames jersey that my husband gave to me.

When I was little and walked downtown Cancun, people in the street would set canvases on the floor along the sidewalk to make spray paintings. They would make all kinds of landscapes; in just a few minutes they would produce amazing things. Trees, beaches, planets, pyramids among other things. I always thought these paintings were only part of the painters’ imagination, but this was proven wrong one early morning that I went down James McKevitt Road and came by an amazing orange sky that was decorated with the black silhouette of evergreen trees. When I saw this, I felt that I had jumped inside a spray painting just like they did in the movie Mary Poppins with Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews.

The way trees transform every season and how they decorate the city is always something that I cherish. The way they adapt to every weather condition is just magic in nature. From flowers and blossoms to bare icy branches, all looks of a tree are just beautiful.

My faith is the tree that stands tall beside me. Gives me shade when I need it, gives me beauty to look at and a place to lean on and rest when my legs are tired of walking through life. If we think about it, faith has the same properties as a tree. A tree needs water, sun and good soil in order to grow strong roots. Our journey of faith starts with Baptism where we are cleaned by water, guided by light and loved and supported by our family who become the soil that will hold our roots.

As we grow our Tree of Faith grows alongside us. Our family becomes the people who will nourish our faith as we start growing roots. They teach us about God, about Jesus and about the “Golden Rule”: Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. School then takes part in shaping our faith through experiences and knowledge to make sure our strong roots will be able to hold the beautiful tree that our faith will become.

As we go into the Parishes to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist our roots start to sprout and get our faith ready for all the things it will endure. We now know how to find comfort in prayer and forgiveness, and we learn that all the things that we go through will only make our trunk stronger. With Confirmation comes more responsibility as it is not our family who chooses for us but ourselves who decide on how we are going to take care of our Tree of Faith which we want to grow as big and as sturdy as possible.

When we reach teenage years branches, leaves and flowers make our Tree of Faith beautiful. Unfortunately, this is when we meet disappointment and success and we can get too distracted with life and its ways. Sometimes we can forget that our Tree of Faith is even there. But with strong roots and good foundation our Tree of Faith is always there standing strong, to provide for us when needed and available for us to turn to it for comfort.

Trees can grow for a long time.  Some of them reach full maturity after 35 or even 50 years. But even if they reach full maturity they still grow as the trunk produces rings of growth every year. Even if a tree doesn’t grow taller the trunk and branches grow thicker and the roots stronger to be able to hold the weight. It is the same with our faith. It may not grow taller after many years, but it grows thicker and stronger until the day we leave this world. And even then, it gives us shade for whatever is to come.

My Tree of Faith is always strong beside me. Sometimes it is winter, and it has icy, bare branches. Sometimes it is spring and is blossoming. It can be dormant or with growing leaves. Leaves on my Tree of Faith can also change color and fall to the ground but no matter what look my Tree of Faith bears it always stands tall beside me and gives me shade when I need it, gives me beauty to look at and a place to lean on and rest when my legs are tired of walking through life.