Approximately 100 children attended a summer Vacation Bible School at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Prince Albert organized by the parishes in the city and surrounding area.
Prince Albert Summer Vacation Bible School
PRINCE ALBERT – The annual summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) in Prince Albert for children ages four to 12 took place July 6-10 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
As a new deanery youth initiative, parishes in the city and surrounding area collaborated and organized the VBS. This year, to the happy surprise of the dozen organizers and volunteers, over 100 registrations were received.
The VBS program was created by Cat.Chat founders Gerald and Denise Montpetit from Bruno, Sask. They designed the program for families and children to experience the Catholic faith in a fun and faith-filled way. They offer five programs based on specific Catholic themes.
The program used this year, Cathletics: Training to be Champions for Christ, taught the similarities between working hard for the Olympics and training to live out one’s Catholic faith. The sport themed camp used five different stations; Music, Games, Snacks, Crafts and Faith. Youth were inspired to set goals and to aim for a commitment to excellence in their Catholic faith based on the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. The sports program taught virtues such as prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice.
Each morning began with an enthusiastic song with actions, followed by a skit performed by one of the 30 youth volunteers, aged 11-17.
Children went home each day with saint cards, similar to hockey cards. Saints of the day included St. John Paul II, St. Anne, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Marguerite D’Youville and St. Francis Xavier. At the end of the week, a CD was sent home with each family to inspire the VBS fun style of music, with a great faith message.
On the last day, parents and families were invited to a mass, followed by a lunch. Fr. Travis Myrheim, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Prince Albert, spoke on the virtue of the day, mercy.
“Mercy is how much God loves us. Each day we learned about a different virtue and how each of them makes us a better person. Virtues strengthen us and help us win the spiritual race and make it to today’s virtue which is mercy. Real love is not easy. It’s like trying to get better at basketball; we have to keep practicing how to love. Are you going to forget everything from this week? It’s not just about this week. It’s about practicing over and over again, even when it’s difficult. Especially with our brothers and sisters and parents, then we can start showing love to our friends at school. How can we strengthen our muscles to love more? We can read the Bible, go to church and continue to pray!”
One parent shared that it was nice to see both playing and praying as part of the program, while older teens actively participated with the kids. She was struck by how pastors were “right in there with the kids.”
Another parent was grateful each child received a CD after the camp was over.
“We’ve used ours lots and have had a lot of fun with it. It was very good to see that the priests were present and had a large role in the VBS, especially at the Faith station. It’s so important for the kids to interact with them.”
Geri Woods, one of the coordinators for VBS, attributes the success of the week to the committed adult volunteers who were willing to volunteer last minute due to greater than expected numbers, and the assistance of Catholic school secretaries who helped with promoting the program in school bulletins.
“This was extremely appreciated and resulted in our largest VBS in Prince Albert yet! We are very thankful to the many youth volunteers who gave many hours of their time to prepare and be mentors for all the children who attended.”
The many families and kids who attended that week collected clothes and toys to donate to families evacuated during the devastating fires in northern Saskatchewan.
The Montpetit family have produced multiple CDs and DVDs and a small TV series available on EWTN. They host live concerts across Canada and the United States. The family group and the famous Moses the Cat will entertain and delight children in Prince Albert on Nov. 11.