Review on Mary’s Way Family Camp week 2014
by Rose Glynn
The families that attended Mary’s Way Family camp week this year are a shinning example of hope for the future, a good testimony of sound catholic upbringing, families with so much dignity in all their actions. They showed great reverence in their participation at Mass and Eucharistic Adoration and humbly went on their knees to pray the rosary and other familiar catholic devotional prayers. This year we had a Mass with consecration of the individual families to Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This was an opportunity of great grace for all, and an assurance that our family names are sealed in heaven.:
Consecration of Family – Prayer
O united Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Behold our family prostrate before Thee.
Once more do we consecrate ourselves to Thee ,
Our trials and our joys,
That our home like Thine, may ever be the shrine of
Peace, purity, love, labor and faith.
Do thou protect and bless all of us, absent and present,
Living and dead.
O Mary, loving Mother of Jesus and our Mother,
Pray to Jesus for our family, for all the families of the World,
To guard the cradle of the new-born, the schools of the young and their vocations.
O Saint Joseph, Holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary,
Assist us by thy prayers in all the necessities of life.
Ask of Jesus that special grace which He granted
To thee, to watch over our home at the pillow of the sick and
The dying, so that with Mary and thee,
Heaven may find our family unbroken in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Amen
Our vision is to help evangelize families, bonding them together in love, unity and faith, in a true Franciscan spirit of joy and freedom, Mary’s Way !
The family is the backbone of society, the nest of nurturing future vocations for our Church. Could there be a greater need than to make sure families are supported and evangelized properly for the good of all mankind, to the Glory of God ? We constantly hear the concerns of good catholic parents who are disillusioned about the way the faith is being watered down in many schools and churches, to the point it hardly exists. Many parents chose to home-school their children, to prevent the deluge of nonsense that they are being polluted with. Many other practicing catholic families are trapped in the system and have to suffer in silence. Mary’s Way Family Camp can be a good support for such families, a place where we can be at one, with the freedom to practice our faith without hindrance. We strive to follow in the footsteps of St Francis who heard the call of God in a vision, commanding him to “ go and repair His Church”.
The Franciscan Friary at Pantasaph is the ideal place for family camp, with frequent Mass and confession services at St David’s Parish Church, the beautiful outdoor national shrine of St Padre Pio, the Rosary walk to the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Way of the Cross through the woodlands to Calvary on the hill top and a spacious green field and community hall. This year we meditated on the Stations of the Cross and we contemplated the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout. The hall was our main home for the week where we had our meals and enjoyed all sorts of activities of Christian art, music, games and the presentation of a very meaningful drama on the life of St John Vianny, the Cure of Ars. Adult workshops were available in the conference rooms at the retreat centre. We were surrounded by beautiful tranquil countryside for the walking and jogging enthusiasts.
We give thanks to the Franciscan Friars and to the team of Pilgrims of Love Community for facilitation the week. Without such teamwork, events like family camp week would not be so grace filled and successful. This is the result of our community prayers and our bond of love and deep desire to spread the message of God’s love in our world. We just wish every family could live the experience of Mary’s Way family camp week, which would serve to enkindle the flame of God’s love in their lives.
Thank you Fr John for providing Mass for us on two occasions , to Br Loarne for your interesting workshop and to Fr Pascal for talks.
Thank you Diana Cascilla and Angela Garcia (Pilgrims of Love Community) for delivering a most inspiring programme of art and evangelization, Phill Walker and Maria Henegan for presentation of the interesting and meaningful drama, Marie McDonald for your creative workshop. Mike Chidell for support with music, John Hesketh for being the youth leader and providing so much fun for all, Emmett Glynn for you magnificent music and hymns that truly lifted our spirits, Michelle Moitie for your much appreciated help as youth worker , Steve and Pauline Burke who provided delicious food with so much love and to Martin Elliott for your kind contribution of your gift of professional photography.
We thank all the lovely families who joined us this year and so willingly helped with so many chores.
May God reward you all with many blessings. We look forward to meeting you all again in 2015
Rose Glynn (Organizer)
Photographs by Angela Garcia
Comments from those who joined us:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the week – and, not being Catholic, I was a little unsure of how I would be treated by others on the camp. However, I can safely say I needn’t have worried as my family and I were made to feel most welcome.
It actually turned out to be one of the best week’s holiday I have had in a long, long time. I felt part of a larger family and I felt happy in the knowledge that my two children were well looked after in an environment that was both safe and secure. Meal times were a pleasure and it was so great to meet so many beautiful people whom I can’t wait to meet up with next year (hopefully!).
I loved taking part in the activities, prayers and workshops (as did the rest of my family) and towards the end of the week I felt closer to the Church than I have ever felt in my life.
Having experienced camp life with Mary’s Way, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back – in fact I think you should organise it twice a year! I think my boys felt that same way, as after having watched the video their daddy made, they were both in floods of tears asking to come back!
Thank you for Rose for an amazing week. It instilled in me how important family life is and how important it is to have a faith to keep the family together. I left the camp feeling great – positive and happy – and wanting to see everyone again!
God Bless Rose – and thank you again.
The family camp week at Pentasaph was the most amazing week of my life as a youth minister. This was because each family had the love of God at the center and the fruits of this love was joy.
All of the youth were filled with so much joy for catholicism that I was led deeper into my own faith. I realized quickly that they were brining me closer to God and Our Lady, as I was leading them into prayer and adoration.
Their was a unique peace that surrounded each person within their families and this is what made the week so special.
In one week I had experienced the gospel being lived, loved and shared. The youth were incredibly respectful of each other and all of the adults. The atmosphere throughout the whole week was one of gentleness and peace. It was so obvious to me that Our Lady was praying for each one of us every day, and the Holy Spirit was guiding us. I cannot wait until we do this again.
Our family had a fantastic time on the Mary’s Way Camping Holiday. Every one of us enjoyed it and have fond recollections of what we did, the people we met and our time with the Lord and his mother.
I would especially like to thank Rose and the Pilgrims of Love community, who made every one of us feel loved and appreciated by the catering, love and attention to detail in the retreat.
We are all looking forward to the next one! I have spoken to other friends of mine with families: they have all expressed great interest in coming next year too.
In Pantasaph, I felt surrounded by spirituality and such a peaceful atmosphere, I enjoyed being among like minded people/families. Being with wonderful families and seeing and hearing how they are trying to bring up their children in the faith. Sharing ideas, all attending mass, adoration, stations of the cross. As families and larger groups having children seeing this as the ‘norm’ – our children witnessing amalgamating our faith into the holiday making it part of our daily routine and enjoying it.
Our children mixing and playing and making friends with ‘like minded’ children and families children’s requests to return again next year and meet their new friends as well as those running the week – Rose, Angela, Diana, John. the week felt special to them and they discussed what they learned in their groups on a personal level, I felt supported and even ‘cared for’ by the other adults and so enjoyed the camaraderie amongst the group, it was special. I feel that my own spiritual journey has benefited from my trip to Pantasaph and I look forward to returning again.