Our school assembly room hosted a good crowd of students and their families as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) retreat.
We’re working with a few older students, but mostly a lot of 2nd and 3rd graders. They gravitate toward the hands on activities best of all. I enjoyed the presentation by our principal Kathleen, and Steve, the 4th grade teacher, that compared the gifts of the Holy Spirit to different treats that the students then helped to pass out. In my presentation on the symbols of baptism, the youngsters were fascinated by the baptismal font and crowded around it in a human chain to feel the water and rub into their hands the olive oil I passed around. I don’t think any of them will qualify as distinguished theologians by the time they finish the program, but they have such good hearts and intentions. I hope we do give them a solid basis of faith they can grow into.
We had planned to go through the Rite of Enrollment tomorrow morning at mass, but we changed plans on the fly due to a blizzard predicted for tomorrow. We worried families would get stuck here or on the road when the snow started to fly. We decided to hold a prayer service at the end of the retreat. I called the homes around campus and most of the other students on campus showed up in a sign of support. The families were able to take part and still make it home safely and not worry about tomorrow.
20 children kids wrote their names in the Book of Enrollment. 6th grader Zooey broke her arm and had surgery, so her houseparent Frank stood by her side and did the writing for her.
The four homes with 1st-3rd graders all had several children involved in the retreat. We ordered pizzas, and the homes each brought fruits, vegetables and deserts! We sat down for a festive meal after it was finished. It gave all our staff more time to visit with and get to know the families.