Franciscan Sister Marsaia Kaster recaps a week in St. John Neumann parish in Spalding and Nadeau, Michigan. Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller and Sister Veronica Schad also spent the week catechizing children.
We had a very good week. June 23-29.
Arriving on Saturday, June 23, Sisters Elizabeth Ann, Veronica and Marsaia, attended two Sat, evening Masses and two Sunday AM Masses in the parish sites of St. John Neumann parish in Spalding and Nadeau, Michigan. After meeting some of the parishioners and advertising the Bible Vacation School week to be held Monday through Friday, the Sisters prepared their classrooms, looked over the names and ages/grades of their prospective students, and organized their lessons.
Monday morning brought an influx of 20 students. And the fun, learning, exploring and praying began. The older students studied and did skits and projects about various saints. The younger ones, including 4 and 5 year-olds used “binoculars” and went in hikes to find God-sightings. They also visited various places in the church, learned about appropriate church behavior, etc!!
All of the students attended Mass on Tuesday, and on Friday, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. They learned songs and Mass parts; some did readings and song leading.
On Thursday all (now) 23 students and about 10 adults, some with smaller children, rode the bus to DeYoung Zoo in Wallace, MI and saw many of God’S great creatures! Singing on the bus helped us have fun and prep for Friday’s Mass.
Each child and adult at the Friday Mass received a little “rock” (in honor of Peter, the Rock) on which was drawn a fish with the Greek letters: IXOYE, meaning “Jesus, Christ, Son of God, Savior.” Hopefully during the year, we will hold that “Jesus Rock” and be reminded that we too are his friends and He asks us “who do you say that I am?”
At the end of the week Sister Veronica asked the children what they had learned that week. One of the children said “I learned we are fish.” Right on! Yes, we are fish and friends of Jesus, eager to help Him fish for other friends!
On Wednesday PM, a potluck supper followed by an interactive presentation on marriage and family issues was held from 5-8:15. Sister Marsaia led the evening.
Each day the Sisters interacted with women who provided snacks for the children, and made lunch for the Sisters. In the evenings the Sisters went to the homes of lovely parishioners. We also attended a fund-raiser dinner for the parish secretary whose husband died recently. A highlight of the week was a ride on a “side-by -side” through the woods in dirt roads (that turned out to be VERY dry!) By the time we arrived to the dining place, our clothes, including our veils and glasses, were covered with dust! It was a great ride-many thanks to Debbie! After dusting off a bit and joining the parish catechists at table we were asked how we liked it. Laughing I responded “just call me Sandy!”
It was a great week! We saw “beautiful” cows – “cattle” I suppose! And many, many deer, along with many, many dear children and adults. Thanks to all of them and to Father Jacek, Mariah and Nel who assisted us.