Franciscan Sisters Catechize at St. John Neuman, Spaulding MI

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

August 19, 2017

This summer, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Veronica Schad and Sister Marsaia Kaster went to Spalding Michigan to teach catechism-Vacation Bible School for children at St. John Neumann Parish. Sister Marsaia reflects on the experience.

For many years some  Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have gone each summer to this parish in upper Michigan. It has been a favorite place to go and teach. This year we stayed in a vacant rectory in nearby Nadeau and commuted to Spalding each day. Women from the parish graciously provided home cooked meals each day for us. Children were eager.  We enjoyed working with boys and girls from age four through six grade.The theme of the week became the Good Shepherd. A new priestly- shepherd is present in the parish and welcomed us all. Father Jacek Wtyklo, came from Poland 17 years ago to serve in the Marquette, Michigan diocese.

Sister Veronica did many exciting and engaging things with her dozen students. Dry bones, gifts of the Spirit, Mass kits, songs and rhythm instruments as well as time for prayer and scripture stories, and visits to church made their days special. I  worked with the older students. My group of students took on the special tasks of formulating offertory petitions and preparing readings for Mass. They also learned and songled the music for liturgy!

A friend of the parish named Debbie had promised a year ago to bring sheep to class some morning . This summer on Tuesday morning it happened! And the Good Shepherd theme was enjoyed and experienced in an especially pleasing manner. The two sheep were 4 months old and had been shorn one time already. Father Jacek led the two  beautiful white lambs into the group of children and adults. Children and adults petted the lambs and had pictures taken with them.

Then all went to Mass where the songs and readings celebrated Jesus, our Good Shepherd. How happy we were to ponder our role as sheep and the love of our shepherd. If you want to experience a song that we sang ( and projected unto a screen for the opening song for Mass that day), click below: “Baa,, Baa, He’s the Good Shepherd.” The message is right on! Hope you enjoy it and sing it yourself.