The sounds of joy – laughing, giggling and shouts of ecstasy – echoed across the fields behind the St. Michael Parish Hall in Wauchula on Feb. 1 as parents looked on with big smiles during a break in a daylong Family Day celebration.
When not having fun in the fields, the children and adults took part in small group activities, listening to age-appropriate talks and participating in different exercises that stressed the importance of having Christ as a guide in their daily life.
The youngest children drew and colored images that depicted different scenes, such as “My family goes to Church every Sunday,” or “Jesus loves me.” The teens heard a talk from a visiting priest who explained to them that they never need to worry about making their parents proud of them, because they are always proud. The focus of the teens needs to be on living their life as Jesus Christ would have wanted.
One teen said it was fun to have her whole family participate in a day of fun activities while staying focused on their faith-life. “I’m very active with the youth group, so we do many things together. What’s great about today is to have my younger brothers and sisters, as well as my parents joining in on what I love most about the Church – growing closer to Christ.”
The day included Mass, a rosary procession, the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and silent prayer time in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Servants of the Lord the Virgin of Matara, women religious who serve at the Parish, organized and guided the Family Day. The event drew about 520 and is just one of about a dozen such special activities which take place throughout the year for different groups, many are directed to engaging Parish children, but days like this were on a grander scale.