Emporia Catholics celebrate Fatima anniversary as families

by Joe Bollig

EMPORIA — Sacred Heart Parish here found a new twist on a centennial celebration of a momentous event.

On Oct. 1, the Catholic Youth Formation program at Sacred Heart held a Family Fatima Day to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, during the spring of 1917.

“This was for our parish children, in kindergarten through fifth grade, who attend our Catholic Youth Formation program,” said Joan Dold, parish director of faith formation.

Dold created the Family Fatima Day to accomplish two things. The first was to teach the students about Our Lady of Fatima. The second was to involve the children in doing something for the people of Houston, which was recently inundated by a hurricane. Parents and other family members were invited to join in the Family Fatima Day.

Approximately 100 children and family members participated.

“We started with a brief lesson about what a spiritual bouquet is,” she said. “We passed out blank pictures of sunflowers, and they would decorate and write a prayer offering they wanted to make for a church we’ve adopted in Houston.”

The Houston church is Christ the Redeemer Parish.

“Our director of evangelization [Blake Vajgrt] reached out and made the connection for us,” said Dold. “He gave the lesson on spiritual bouquets.”

After they finished making the spiritual bouquets, they watched a video about Our Lady of Fatima. After the video, each child was given a bag of beads to make a rosary. When they had done so, the group prayed one decade. The children were able to take their rosaries home when the event was over.

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