A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.
– Sirach 6:14-17
The first reading at Mass set the theme for OLMC’s 2019 Faith Day. As the students met with their Faith Families, this message of friendship and its many facets and riches was discussed, experienced and reinforced. From Fr. John David’s homily about his personal experiences with friendship all through activities led by the catechists and 8th graders, the theme of friendship with each other and with Jesus was woven throughout the day.
After children attended Mass with their regular class, and after they had a snack and a little break, they met in the gym and joined their Faith Families. On this Faith Day the students were surprised to find themselves in the studio audience for Sr. Mary Josephine’s exciting radio show, 1954 AM The Mount. And Moses and Aaron even made a guest appearance! Moses and Aaron talked about their lives and all the fantastic things they experienced, but most importantly they talked about their relationship and friendship with each other and their relationship with God. Through this interview, the reading from Sirach was reinforced and presented in an engaging and memorable way.
Before students left the All School Assembly and broke into their individual Family groups they were reminded of three important things:
1) Friendship with God brings us true happiness
2) Our hearts are restless until they rest in God
3) A firm friendship with God is the strong foundation for friendship with others
While spending time with their individual families (with a mix of students from PreK – 8) students played focused games and activities, again reinforcing the message of friendship: with each other, with strangers, and above all with God, who guides all relationships.
As the faith families participated in their rotations, students spent time in reverent Adoration and had the opportunity to go to confession. We were blessed to have no less than six priests from throughout the Peninsula were on hand in rotation throughout the day to take confession.
One of the day’s most tangible and memorable activities was the creation of friendship bracelets. This all school activity was capably led by OLMC’s 8th grade students. This actively illustrated Our Lady of Mount Carmel school’s pillar of service as each student created a friendship bracelet for themselves and an identical one for a person being blessed by the OLMC Outreach Center. When someone comes into the Outreach Center for a need they will be given one of these bracelets and they have the opportunity to leave a prayer request in return. This prayer intention will then be returned to the school and the particular student who made the bracelet will pray that God blesses the recipient in his or her life as he or she wears a bracelet as a reminder to pray for their person in need.
The day ended joyously with praise, worship and even dancing led by Peninsula Catholic’s High School Ministry. Peninsula Catholic’s praise and worship team was on hand all day, playing music at Mass and throughout Adoration. They added a beautiful element to the day’s event and were appreciated and enjoyed immensely by both OLMC students and staff.
The Lord blessed this beautiful day. The good feelings of friendship fostered were palpable. Thank you to all of our students, catechists, staff, parents, family and friends that made this day possible and tirelessly help make Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School a place that truly fosters faith, family, and friendship.