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Welcome to Growing Together in Faith (GIFT) in the Apple Valley Catholic Collaborative (St. Isidore, Stow and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton/Boxboro

Responding to the Gospel and Pope Francis’ call for a new evangelization, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Isidore parishes use a liturgy-centered, lifelong, and intergenerational approach to Catholic faith formation. For the last 11 years, this has been known as Generations of Faith (GOF).

Fee schedule:
GIFT $75 person (age 5 and up)
Grade 2:  First Reconciliation
and First Eucharist
$50 per child
Grade 9 & Grade 10:  Confirmation at St. Isidore     $65 per candidate, per year

As we celebrate the collaboration of our two faith communities and recognition of all that encompasses faith formation, the time has come to embrace a name that more closely reflects our mission and practice: Growing in Faith Together. Some of what you will experience in GIFT will be similar to past GOF experiences.  However, we are now able to offer a variety of intergenerational experiences, including shared events in both parishes, collaborative breakout events, and shared liturgical experiences.

Our goal, as always, is to help everyone become a better disciple by integrating faith, worship, and life in light of the Gospel.  We invite you to participate! All are welcome, especially our adults—whether you have children in the program or not! In addition to parents, this includes young adults, single adults, grandparents, empty nesters, and retirees.

GIFT 2016-17:  Schedule

Theme for the Year:  “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free you.”  - Pope Francis

All sessions are open to participants from both parishes.  Session leaders will include staff and volunteers from both communities. The program will be the same for all sessions in both parishes. All begin promptly. Please arrive in time to be ready to pray the table blessing at the starting time. If you are unable to attend your regular session, you may come to any of the other sessions that month, if there is room.  Please contact Barbara Dane at to arrange a switch.

Session Days and Times

Saturday 6:15 – 8:45 PM                    St. Isidore Church Hall
Sunday 11:45 AM – 2:15 PM              St. Elizabeth Church Hall Basement
Sunday 6:15 – 8:45 PM                       St. Elizabeth Church Hall Basement

Growing in Faith Together is designed to connect to Sunday Mass and to the liturgical year.   Our monthly faith focus reflects this. Our parishes are unique in that not only the readings, but also the music, and homilies are specifically connected to each month’s topic. In the case of the Saturday evening and Sunday noon sessions, it makes sense to attend Mass at the Church where you will go to GIFT, but you are welcome to attend where it is most convenient for you.

September GIFT:  Sept. 10 - 11
Luke 15:  1 – 10
The Joy of Mercy

October GIFT:  Oct. 1-2
Luke:  17: 5-10
The Mustard Seed

October GIFT:  Oct. 29 - 30
Luke:  19:  1-10

December GIFT:  Dec. 10 - 11
Matthew:  11: 2- 11
3rd Sunday of Advent

January GIFT:  Jan. 7 – 8
Matthew 2: 1 – 12
Special Guest ArtistValimar Jansen:  musician and storyteller extraordinaire
Please note special times:
Saturday, January 7 at St. Isidore:  dinner at 6:15 PM, concert at 7:00 PM
Sunday, January 8 at St. Elizabeth: lunch at 11:45 AM.  Concert at 12:30 PM
There is no 6:15 PM session.  Sunday evening GIFT participants should plan to attend one of the other sessions!

February GIFT:  Feb. 11 - 12
Sirach 15: 15 – 20
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
March GIFT:  March 18 – 19
Jn.4: 5- 42
3th Sunday of Lent

April GIFT:  April 29 - 30
The Gospel of Luke:  24:  13 – 35
The Road to Emmaus


Growing Together in Faith is for EVERYONE: toddlers, retirees, families with children, empty nesters, Confirmation candidates, high schoolers, middle schoolers, singles, couples, new parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, interfaith families, newcomers, and visitors.