St. Francis Xavier Parish of Acushnet
Adult Education 2016 -2017
The Bible: What It Is, Where It Came from, and What It Means to the Church – September 25 & 27
Deacon David Pepin
This presentation will explore how the Bible is the Word of God spoken to His people through sacred writers over the course of time, how that Word works in God’s Church, and why that Word is essential for us to hear in our daily lives.
Deacon Pepin was ordained a deacon in 2002 after retiring from a 31-year teaching career at New Bedford High School. As a newly ordained deacon, he worked as the Administrative Assistant in the diocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate for a few years before becoming a hospital chaplain, serving at St. Luke’s and Saint Anne’s hospitals for over eight years. He has been married to his wife Joan for 43 years, and they have three children and six grandchildren
Lectio Divina: Transforming Bible Study into Prayer into Love – October 23 & 25
The reading of Sacred Scripture is not simply an act of study, but an act of love. Through a form of prayer practiced by the Benedictines and Carmelites, the soul moves from reading Bible passages to meditation on the Word and through a prayerful response toward a contemplation in love. In this session we will examine the spiritual process of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) in which the simple intuition of divine truth hopes to gain (through grace) the infusion of divine love.
Steven Guillotte is SFX Parish Director of Pastoral Services. Besides directing the parish operations, Steve also teaches in our RCIA program. He has taught adults the Catholic faith for the last 17 years. Steve has a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy specializing in the philosophy of religion, and ethics. Steve has spent many years as an in-home caregiver and a social service professional in the areas of developmental disabilities and elder advocacy & protective services.
Blessed Are The Peace Makers – November 20 & 22
Jesus taught that making peace based on truth and justice is a central calling of the Catholic moral life. Division and conflict are found in families, the Church, local communities, in our country and among nations. This class will explore historical models such as John Paul II’s Solidarity movement in Poland and practical approaches to being peacemakers in the home and workplace.
Peter Shaughnessy is the President/Principal of Bishop Stang High School. He earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science and English Literature from Canisius College. He holds Masters degrees in Theology and Pastoral Studies from Loyola University of Chicago and Educational Leadership & Administration from Benedictine University. Peter resides in Fairhaven with his wife, Anabela and their four children.
The Liturgy of the Hours: The Prayer of the Church – January 8 & 10
Msgr. Gerard O’Connor
The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office or the Work of God (Opus Dei), is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer. We will examine each of the hours and look into the history and significance of these prayers as well as the Psalms that are used throughout the day.
Msgr. O’Connor is the Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish. As well as a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics he holds an MBA from Kingston University in London UK. Msgr. has a STB in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a License and Doctorate from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute.
Run to Win: Sports, Competition, and God – January 22 & 24
Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, The Voice… The competition in sports and other entertainment has become a big part of our lives. And the Catholic Church has found that the idea of competition can be applied to our relationship with God and the battle between good and evil. In this presentation you’ll learn about the one competition that we all must win.
Edward Trendowski has been married to his wife Breanne for 9 years and they have four children. Edward is the Director of the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Providence. He also teaches three online Master’s Degree online courses for St. Joseph College of Maine. Edward has a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph College of Maine and is currently working on completing a Ph.D. in Religious Education and Catechetics from the Catholic University of America. He loves to read the Bible and the Catechism.
Women in the Bible – February 5 & 7
We all know the saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” This truth is also portrayed in the Bible, behind every great biblical man and time period, there are great women as well. We will discuss and look at the virtues, vices, and struggles of the women who helped shape salvation history and to understand how God used them to change history. The Bible has so much to offer us, so dust it off and open it up to the divine love story of God’s inexhaustible love to bring home His wayward and stubborn children, then and now.
Janine Hammarquist grew up in New Bedford. She came to St. Francis Xavier in 1997; where she taught Religious Education for many years and was involved with Youth group and Peer Ministry until taking the position of Coordinator of Religious Education. She sits on the Diocesan Faith Formation Advisory Board and has been a leader for CLI (Christian Leadership Institute), leadership training experience for high school youth throughout the diocese. She continues to further her education through the Satellite Theological STEP Education Program through Notre Dame University. She and her husband Michael reside in New Bedford with their 3 children.
On Trustworthiness or Living Intimately with God – February 26 & 28
Faith is more than mere belief. It is trusting in what another person tells you is true because that person is trustworthy. Trust is at the root of our faithful response to God’s call, for we come to know God to be completely trustworthy. But what of us – can God truly trust us? In this session we will consider through the use of the parables of Jesus and other Sacred Scripture citations why this question is so important, how trustworthiness relates to the judgment and salvation of man, and how sin is the greatest impediment to God trusting man. Finally, we will explore the interior nature of trustworthiness and how it acts directly toward spiritual intimacy with the Lord.
The Message of Fatima: Then and Now – March 12 & 14
Deacon David Pepin
This presentation will review what happened during Our Lady’s apparitions to the children of Fatima in 1917, what her messages to the children were, and what significance those events and messages have for us now, one hundred years later.
The Role of the Laity in the Catholic Church – April 2 & 4
Works of true charity should flow directly from a relationship with Christ. At the end of each Mass the liturgy doesn’t just come to an end, those assembled are blessed and dismissed with a directive to bring the fruits of the Eucharist into our homes, neighborhoods, and our workplaces. Together we will explore ways in which lay individuals and their families can fulfill their baptismal responsibilities and be the Body of Christ at work in the world.
Anabela Shaughnessy is a native of New Bedford, MA. Her parents immigrated to the United States from the Azores. Anabela has a deep appreciation for how her parents’ deep faith and the rich Portuguese religious heritage shaped and influenced her faith journey as a child and how that journey continues now for her as a mother of four. Anabela is the Assistant Principal at St. Francis Xavier School. She and her husband, Peter, currently reside in Fairhaven with their four children and are proud to call St. Francis Xavier their parish home.
Understanding the Bible – April 23 & 25
What we read in the Bible can often times be confusing or difficult to understand. The topic of this talk is how we, as Catholics, ought to read and understand the Bible as well as how to interpret some of the difficult passages. It will provide a brief overview of the Bible and will discuss the literal and spiritual senses of scripture as well as some of the passages that are most difficult to understand.
Philip Martin received his Theology degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville and his Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College. He has been teaching in the Theology Department at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth for twelve years and has served as the Department Chairperson for the past nine years. In addition to teaching, he was the Director of Religious Education at St. Anthony of Padua Parish for six years, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has been happily married to his wife, Colleen, for fourteen years and together they have seven children.