ROAR into the fun at VBS!

Vacation Bible School 2019 – June 24-28, 9 am to 12 noon

Join us for our Safari Adventure “Roar!”  Volunteers are needed to bring our adventure to life – rising 6th grade to adult – and elementary aged participants are needed to give our adventure it’s life!

Ready for the fun?  More information and registration can be found at VBS 2019!

 

College or Graduate School Scholarship Opportunity!

Journey of Faith Scholarship  Jeremiah 29:11

Adult Scholarship:

  • Open to adults who are:
    • active St. Matthew parishioners and
    • pursuing a graduate degree in teaching, youth ministry, health care, military, religious vocations or social work.
  • One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded.

High School Scholarship:

  • Open to high school seniors who are:
    • active St. Matthew parishioners,
    • serving as Faith Formation catechists or active in parish youth ministry programming and
    • pursuing a degree in teaching, youth ministry, health care, military, religious vocations or social work.
  • Three $5,000 scholarships will be awarded.

Deadline to apply is March 31.

2019 Journey of Faith Adult Scholarship Application

2019 Journey of Faith Scholarship Application

 

Family Life: Building Blessing Bags!

Sunday, March 3, 1 to 2:30 pm

Parish Center Gym

We welcome St. Matthew families with children of all ages to donate items and assemble Blessings Bags for our homeless neighbors in Charlotte. Adult and teen volunteers are needed for setup and cleanup.

Please bring:

  • Quart size zip-lock bags (one box)
  • Individually packaged snack items (granola bars, fruit cups, sandwich crackers, raisins or other healthy snacks) – larger sized items from wholesale stores are welcome.

RSVP Requested

We hope to see your family there!

Confirmation 2019 – Sacrament Dates Announced!

We have received notification from the Office of the Bishop that St. Matthew will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 20, 21 and 22.  The celebration of each Mass will begin at 6 pm.

Please bear in mind that a youth will be eligible to receive the sacrament once all preparation is complete:

  • Participation in 7th and 8th grade Faith Formation or Catholic School – with satisfactory attendance; if attending Catholic school, participation in parish proximate preparation is also required.
  • Participation in the Ignite Conference (Confirmation Retreat) – if you have not registered yet, please do so by selecting this link now!  There is not a fee for this event, the parish is covering the bulk of the cost.  If your teen is unable to attend this conference, you must contact Adrian Quintero immediately so alternative opportunities can be discussed.

In addition, the following steps must be completed by March 31:

  1. BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE: You will need to provide a baptismal certificate for your teen if they weren’t baptized or received their First Holy Communion at St. Matthew. You may bring a copy to the office during office hours Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm; Sunday 8:30am-12:30pm.
  2. SPONSOR INFORMATION: Students must select a Sponsor and have the Sponsor complete the SPONSOR ELIGIBILITY FORM and SPONSOR AGREEMENT FORM. Please note that the ELIGIBILITY FORM requires the signature of the pastor of the Sponsor’s parish. If the sponsor is a parishioner of St. Matthew, then you can submit the form to the parish and we will verify. Keep in mind that a sponsor must be a practicing Catholic, fully initiated in the Catholic Church, 16 years of age or older, and may not be the teen’s parent. This should be someone that can guide their teen during this important sacrament preparation, and throughout their life and faith journey.
  3. CONFIRMATION NAME: Students must select a Confirmation/Saint Name and submit an essay about their Saint to their catechist/small group leader or email to Donna DeCarlo at ddecarlo@stmatthewcatholic.org. The criteria for the essay can be found on our website. We challenge teens to pick a saint that they connect with—the more they take the time to research a saint and pick someone who makes an impact on them, the better. The chosen saint will be their confirmation name which is entered into the Church records and will be the name the bishop will use when anointing a teen at Confirmation.
  4. SERVICE PROJECTS: We are requiring 3 service projects for all teens. 2 of the projects can be completed by the teen on their own but one of the service projects needs to be completed as a small group. The catechist will assist with organizing an opportunity with their small group. The small group can decide together on what they would like to do. You can find ideas for service projects and the form that needs to be filled out on our website.
  5. PRAYER: Continue to pray for your teen and all teens that will receive the sacraments!

2019-2021 Pastoral Plan

2019-21 Pastoral Plan Executive Summary

2019-2021 Pastoral Plan

Get involved! Click here to see how you can help make the Pastoral Plan a success!

To the faithful disciples of St. Matthew Catholic Church,

I am pleased to offer for your consideration the 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan for our parish family.

I was appointed as the pastor of this amazing community shortly over one year ago. In that time, I have experienced great joy in the fruits of the Holy Spirit that have been at work here since 1986.  The vibrant liturgies, the sacrificial service, and the spirit of evangelization that is so evident here draws all who pass through our doors into a large, yet intimate, parish family, but most importantly, into a personal relationship with the Lord.

We are not unaware, however, of the challenges that we face in today’s world. Secular experts have declared the current times as the beginning of the “post-Christian” era. God is seen as no longer relevant in a culture that has determined truth to be subjective and the individual to be the only true god. Mass attendance is in decline, reception of the sacraments has become less common, and young people are leaving the Church in alarming numbers. Our parish community is no exception to this trend.

But we are not the first to confront a world that rejects Jesus. The first disciples, in fact, were met with skepticism, hostility, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Alone, they were powerless.  And so they did what Jesus taught them to do—to seek an intimate relationship with the Father, who would fill them with the power that would transform the world.

Our 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan, then, is based on that simple model. By fostering a deeper spirituality in our parish community, and by using the gifts we are given in our encounter with youth and young adults, we allow the Spirit to speak and act through us.

It worked 2000 years ago. With God’s help, it will work for us today.

I look forward to our future together.

Faithfully,

Patrick T. Hoare
Pastor

Join our clergy, staff and ministry leaders as we pray for our parish and intentions at 3 pm daily.

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Prayer is the key to all we do here at St. Matthew. If we are not praying for each other, and for our parish, we can’t hope to serve the Lord and his people to the best of our ability while drawing on his grace. I invite you to join in prayer for our parish and for each other every day at 3 pm. Set your cell phone alarm for 3:00 and stop…no matter what you’re in the middle of….and pray an Our Father for our parish and for intentions.

Let’s count on one another’s prayers!

Pastor Father Pat Hoare Addresses the St. Matthew Parish Family Following the Release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

The release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report this past week reminds us once again of the terrible crimes that were committed by some members of the clergy, and reveals inexcusable instances of poor judgment, deception, and negligence in the pastoral care of the victims of sexual abuse.  This, and the recent accusations against former Cardinal McCarrick, once again open wounds that cause many of us great pain, and have led some to question our faith and trust in the institution of the Church founded by Christ Himself.

I have had multiple discussions over the past several days with priest friends of mine, and also with the clergy here at St. Matthew.  These reports cause us great pain and in some cases anger toward those entrusted with the authority to administer justice and to keep vulnerable children and adults out of harm’s way.  The priests that I know well answered the call to the priesthood to serve you, to share with you God’s love and mercy, and to bring you the power of the sacraments, and we can’t understand how such abuse and injustice was tolerated by those with the power to stop it.

I humbly ask you to pray with us above all for healing and consolation for those who have been harmed, for justice to be done in each case of abuse, and that the hierarchy would decisively institute additional reforms to prevent this from happening again.  While the Grand Jury report itself acknowledges that much good work has already been done in the last 20 years in responding to reports of abuse, much more is still necessary at the highest levels of the Church to root out any element of evil from among us.

I also ask that, as you pray with us, you also pray for us, the priests and deacons who serve you at this parish, and for all clergy, that we would always live up to our high calling of serving you, the people of God.

 

Prayerfully,

Fr. Patrick T. Hoare

Pastor

Bishops’ Letter on Immigration Reform

Attached you will find a letter from Bishop Jugis and Bishop Zarama in support of immigration reform and the Dreamers. This is the first collaborative letter between the two bishops since the installation of Bishop Zarama in 2017.

Please take a moment out of your busy day to read and stay informed on the stated positions, formed by Catholic social teaching, of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB).

Bishops’ Letter

Stewardship of Treasure

Dear Friends in Christ,

St. Matthew is a vibrant and growing parish community with access to wonderful facilities, the daily celebration of Mass, education and faith formation all of which offer the opportunity to encounter Christ, experience His presence and receive His grace. We share that same love during life’s joys and certainly in its sorrows, providing support through counseling services, food distribution, outreach and bereavement ministries. We are able to do all of this because of you and your generous offertory support. Money’s value isn’t found in what it can get, but in what it can give, and you have given a foundation of faith, an encounter with Christ, and for many a new beginning.

Please take a moment to reflect on your planned giving for 2018 and complete the commitment form linked here.
I thank you for your continued and generous support of our parish.

Click here for the 2017 Tithing Report.

Yours in Christ,
Father Patrick T. Hoare, Pastor