This year, 2016 was certainly eventful in so many ways. We enjoyed a week packed with so much fun and perfect weather for camping. Hardly a drop of rain fell, giving the children plenty of time to play outdoors and explore the beautiful peaceful countryside. It is always a joy when new families join us and particularly interesting to observe the way children love to meet and make new friends so quickly.
The drama act this year was a very ambitious presentation, directed by Mariade Bernal and was based on the “Conversion of St Paul”. The Mum’s, Dad’s and children all played their part with great enthusiasm and joy. There is hardly enough time to practice within one week, so understandably there is always room for improvement, however for us what is most important is how the drama act provides a precious source of evangelization, especially for the children at such a young age. The act was filled with so much humor and at the same time the respect and contemplation deserving of the story. Drama tends to have a transforming effect on children, especially on those who are a little shy. It encourages them to express themselves publicly and this helps them to grow in confidence.
We are thankful to the Franciscan Friars for their kind participation throughout the week and for their presence at our drama production celebration. Special thanks to Fr John Delaney for the Mass where we Consecrated our Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This took place at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes outdoors on the hillside. Thanks also to Fr Pascall for giving inspiring talks to the children. These were moments of grace and blessing for all of us. We appreciate the way Fr John Cavanagh (Guardian) trusted us with the hall and provided for us in every necessity. What is most unique and precious to us having Family Camp week at Pantasaph is the opportunity for all to experience the close encounter with the Franciscan Friars and to feel at home with the Community there.
In this environment we are best able to fulfill our efforts to live out our mission statement: “Our vision is to provide an opportunity to unite families, who strive to nurture their children in the faith by getting together in a joyful, carefree and relaxed environment. “
We thank John Hesketh for his presence and support. John is a respected speaker at various Catholic events throughout England and Scotland. We were so privileged that he dedicated his entire week to providing workshops for the adults, activities with the children and we thoroughly enjoyed his hilarious participation in the drama production.
Special thanks to Angela Garcia (Pilgrims of Love Community) and director of Evangelization. She presented creative art workshops linked with the theme of the drama. Her gentle ways, loving presence, deep faith and charism are unique and the children and adults all love and relate so well to her.
Thank you Emmett Glynn for helping with the hymns and music. Emmett is a true inspiration to the young ones and they all appreciate and love your presence very much.
Marie Mc Donald provided a creative workshop on the theme of God’s Mercy. The children built themselves a ‘door of mercy’ as she explained the meaning of the Year of Mercy to all. The children also painted beautiful art portraits for them to take home as keepsakes. Thank you Maria, your skills of evangelization with art are exceptional and much appreciated by everyone.
On the final day of Family Camp week we had a further unplanned drama event. Brenda O Donoghue who was expecting a baby had to be taken into hospital. A few days later she gave birth Ragina Rose who was born prematurely on the Feast day of the Queenship of Our Lady. We are overjoyed to hear that Mother and baby are doing well now and give thanks to God for this great miracle. We look forward to having baby Ragina join us in the years to come, together with her six other brothers and sisters and her Mum and Dad , a most beautiful family.
Thanks to Annalisa Hamilton for providing the video of the drama act. We all appreciate this precious keepsake and know in years to come we will treasure and enjoy watching.
Thanks to Ragelo Bernal for your help to provide delicious food that was enjoyed by all. We find the joy of communal catering much appreciated and the abundance and quality of food creates pleasure for all.
Most of all, we thank all the wonderful families that attended and for their participation throughout the week. Without you Mary’s Way Family Camp week would not be possible. We remain closely united in love and prayer under the protection of The Holy Family of Nazareth and look forward to our next opportunity to meet again at Mary’s Way Family Camp Week.