Summer Family Day has faith, fun for all Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)


A Summer Family Fun Day Retreat was recently held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice to provide time together centered on prayer with a dash of fun.

Brother Paul Nguyen, OMV, leads a talk in front of the Holy Family statue at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice on July 29 for the Family Day.

The “Growing Together in Faith and Love” retreat served to nourish a family’s spiritual life through various activities. Led by Brother Paul Nguyen, OMV, day started with prayer and then a conference offering encouraging words.

“A family must stay together in their faith, in support and in love, no matter what,” Brother Paul said. “Families must be able to count on one another. So much so that they accompany one another through any trials they face.”

Colleen Donahue, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center Development Director, gives children instructions about coloring during a Summer Family Day on July 29.

This commitment a family makes is not in judging others, but in joining in their joy and suffering equally as a sign of God’s love. “This type of support includes talking about your faith openly and often.”

Brother Paul offered tips on opening a faith discussion within the family, such as talking about some aspect of the Mass, or about weekly readings, or the Saint of the Day. These activities can be small, but making the effort is the most important part as it must start somewhere for it to grow into an important part of family life.


He added that the goal of all families should be to follow the example of St. Dominic Savio, a 14-year-old Italian saint, who said “I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.”

The most profound way to do this is through the Sacraments, Brother Paul said. “It is through these great gifts that everyone shares in God’s love for the world.”

The day also included break-out activities for children and adults. The children’s activities had a focus on the 10 Commandments. For the younger ones, there was a bean bag toss and coloring to help encourage participation to assist explaining such a serious topic.

This was followed by a scavenger hunt of sorts which sent groups to three sites at the Retreat Center, the Holy Family statue, the Angelus Bell, and the Fifth Station of the Cross. At each of these sites, the group learned about the location’s significance and then they prayed together.

The day culminated with the Mass celebrated by OLPH Spiritual Director Father Sean Morris, OMV.

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