|Men's Prayer Breakfast||The Men's Prayer Breakfast meets at 6:00am in the Parish
Center on Wednesday mornings of Advent and Lent. In addition to
those times the men meet on the first Wednesday of most months during
the rest of the Year.
The goal of the Men's Prayer Breakfast is to provide an opportunity for each man in the parish to maintain spiritual focus in his life, especially during the conversation with other men of the parish.
The format for the 45 minutes gathering is simple: Fellowship and conversation over coffee and donuts/bagels, individual introductions, an opening song and prayer, a Gospel reading, a short personal reflection by one of the members, small group sharing, shared petitions, and a closing prayer.
Besides the enticement of free coffee, tea, donuts and bagels, the group has great camaraderie, and is very welcoming to everyone who attends. There is an open and standing invitation to all men of the parish to come when the Spirit moves them (along with their alarm clocks and willpower) and when their schedule allows. There are about 50 men who attend on a regular or semi-regular basis and between 25 and 305 guys participate in any given week of Advent and Lent. There's always room for one more.
Please come join us! For questions and further information, please contact either Brian Salisbury (908-789-3098) or Ed Frey
|Women's Prayer Breakfast||The Women's Prayer Breakfast is held on the Wednesdays of
Lent and Advent. The gatherings are held in the Blue Room for the
Parish Center from 9:30am until 11:00am. The extended time allows
women of all ages and circumstances to come together and share their
The women use a format similar to the Men's to achieve a goal of spiritual renewal through prayer and reflection. There is an opening prayer a song, a gospel reading with a short personal reflection by one of the members. The meeting typically continues with a small group sharing, and closes with shared petitions and a closing prayer.
The meetings include light refreshments and there is always room for a newcomer to bring a friend the breakfast.
For additional information please contact Mrs. Linda Attanasio at the Parish Center, 908-232-1214, Ext. 19.
||A retreat hosted by members of
St. Helen's parish for parishioners of St. Helen's and others as space
may allow. The retreat is usually held in February or early
March. It begins on Friday evening and concludes with a closing
liturgy on Saturday evening. The experience is a mixture of
personal talks, reflections, private time, sacraments, and group
activities all leading the participants to a deeper sense of their own
spirituality. Separate weekend experiences are held for men and
|Cornerstone Day of Renewal
||This is a follow up day of
renewal for those who have participated in the Cornerstone
Experience. The Day of Renewal is usually held on a Saturday in
Advent or Lent for 1/2 day. Separate Days of Renewal are
scheduled for men and women. Occasionally a day of Renewal for
men and women together will be scheduled.
|Cornerstone Day of Renewal||A weekend designed to build on
the principles of Cornerstone. The Journey Weekend challenges the
participants to continue their spiritual growth through personal talks,
group sharing, prayer and sacraments. The Journey Weekend is open
to men and women who have previously participated in the Cornerstone
Experience. Separate weekends are planned for men and
women. Plans for these weekends are currently under formation.
||All 9th graders are required to
attend a Freshmen Retreat as part of their Confirmation
requirement. This retreat takes place in the fall. The
theme of the retreat is "O' The Places You'll Go. Our goal is to
give the candidates a retreat experience in which they can explore
their faith and share teenage life experiences with youth in their same
age group. Some of the talk topics are: "Taking Risk", "Self
Acceptance", "Friendship & Family", "Forgiveness", "Discovering
God", and "Keeping God Alive After the Retreat".
Junior and Senior Peer Ministers prepare the talks.
||For 10th graders this retreat is
optional. The theme of the retreat is "The Wonder Years".
This retreat takes place late January-early February. We
encourage the candidates to reflect and journal during the retreat on
where they are in their faith life and why they want to be
confirmed. Some of the talk topics for this retreat are:
"Gifts of the Holy Spirit", "Share the Spirit", "Parent Talk",
Son/Daughter Talk", "Community of Faith".
Senior Peer Ministers and a parent(s) who present the "Parent Talk" to the candidates write the talks.
|Junior/Senior Retreat||This retreat is open to all 11th
and 12th graders. The retreat team is made up of adults in our
parish who create a different theme and talk topics each year for the
candidates. We provide a relaxed environment for the candidates
to openly discuss and share what is presently on their minds.
||Parish Missions are usually
offered every other year here at Saint Helen's. The mission is
given by either a priest, religious or lay person and can be an
individual presenter or a team.
The presenter(s) will speak at all the Masses on the weekend prior to the mission as a way to invite the entire parish to take part. The mission may last from a couple of nights to every night of the week while the topics vary each night.
Parish Missions are different from retreats in that attendance at a mission allows people to tend to their normal work schedule and attend the mission at night. A mission may be "in session" only a few hours each over the carouse of several evenings while a retreat is a continuous block of time extending one day or a couple of days.
Watch the bulletin and newsletter for announcements of upcoming Parish Missions.
||An extended weekend retreat that
is offered at least twice a year at the Archdiocesan retreat center in
Kearney. Cursillo, which means short course in Christ, originated
in Spain in the 1940's and came to American in 1957. A team of
lay people and religious from all over the diocese presents the
weekend. Cursillo encourages men and women to live their lives in
a Christ-like manner despite the difficult world around them. A
Candidate must be sponsored by an active Cursillistas, and their parish
priest, after their weekend they are encouraged to meet regularly with
fellow Cursillists in a small group (group reunion), and to attend
larger community gatherings called Ultreyas.
Additional information can be obtained from Msgr. Harms at the Parish Center.
|Weekend Retreat for Men:
|Men from St. Helen's participate
with the Westfield Knights of Columbus on the second weekend in
February at Loyola House of retreats in nearby Morristown.
The weekend retreat starts on Friday evening with dinner, and ends on Sunday afternoon. There scriptural meditations proposed by the Retreat Director followed by personal reflection and prayer. The retreatants are asked to be silent. This silent atmosphere lends itself to a growing attitude of the presence of the Lord.
Loyola Retreat House generates a prayerful environment to invite retreatants to a deeper personal union with the Lord. Loyola is situated on 30 landscaped acres, which provide quiet, scenic surroundings; combining with Loyola's two beautiful chapels, and spiritual decor create a wonderful environment for solitude and reflection. Eighty-five individual rooms offer privacy, and enhancement to prayer, and spending personal time with God. The meals are adequate, wholesome, and are served family style. A free will offering can be given on Sunday. The Jesuit priests, and two nuns staff Loyola. They are available for personal consultation.
If you have never been on a weekend retreat, or maybe it has been a long time since you attended one, make up your mind now to go on Loyola House retreat, and spend some quality time with the Lord.
For further information, call Jerry Farley at 908-654-5554, or David D'Agostino at 908-789-8911, or online at www.loyola.org. Loyola is located at 161 James Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.
|An Away Retreat for Women
||In 1998 as a response to the
request for a next step for women following Cornerstone, St. Helen's
sponsored a weekend away retreat. The retreat entitled, "Come To
The Quiet", has continued to be offered annually in November at the St.
Joseph by the Sea Retreat Center in Mantoloking, New Jersey.
Occasionally, based on response, it is held bi-annually.
Offered in a quiet setting on the ocean, the theme of the weekend occasionally changes, however the structure of the weekend remains the same. Time is provided for quiet reflection, following talks by facilitators; optional sharing groups; prayer services; mass; song; and walking on the beach. Information regarding dates of retreats will be printed in the bulletin or you may contact Paulette Cicero through St. Helen's for further information.
|Day/Evenings Of Reflection
For Liturgical Ministries
|Each year, or every other year,
a day or evening of reflection is offered for all our Liturgical
Ministers. These include our Presiders, Readers, Extraordinary
Ministers of Holy Communion, Choir Members, Cantors, Greeters, and
Ministers of Hospitality.
A speaker (priest, religious, or lay person) will nourish those who nourish us at our Liturgies.
|Each Lent the Senior members of
our Parish Community are given the opportunity to attend a Day of
Renewal that has been planed especially for them. The day, which
is presented by a visiting priest, begins with morning liturgy.
The rest of the day consists of a series of talks that re designed to
address "senior spirituality", table discussion, and an activity such
as the recitation of the rosary. A chapel is set up in the green
room for quiet time and/or personal prayer. The day concludes
with a lunch. The Day of Renewal is open to all seniors.
Application forms can be found in the church bulletin at least 6 weeks
prior to the day. There is a minimal charge.
|Spiritual Life Retreats
||As part of the mission of The
Spiritual Life Committee, it responds to the needs and/or requests for
retreats at St. Helen's. In 2003, two new retreats were offered
during Lent, a morning retreat that included a speaker and lunch for
Senior Citizens, and a six-week Spiritual Direction Prayer Retreat that
was open to all parishioners.
Retreat offerings may change annually. Upcoming retreats will be printed the bulletin.