Many children across the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland are spending part of their summer vacation participating in a unique, age-appropriate, faith-building experience: vacation bible school.
Themes may vary from parish to parish, but the goal is the same. Most parishes plan the weeklong program for children of about kindergarten age through grade 5. A typical day consists of a Bible lesson, story time, activities, crafts, games, snack and a prayer service.
At Queen of Heaven Parish in Green, this year’s theme was “The Maker Fun Factory: Created by God, Built for a Purpose.” The program met June 19-23. Father David Durkee, pastor, invited VBS participants to attend the 11 a.m. Mass on June 25, where they interacted and responded as he reinforced the message they heard throughout the program.
St. Thomas More, Brooklyn, will partner with Mary Queen of Peace and St. Leo the Great parishes in Cleveland for their vacation bible school, which also is using the “Maker Fun Factory” theme. The program will meet July 10-14 at St. Thomas More.
St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Parma also is using the “Maker Fun Factory” theme for its VBS program, which will meet July 10-14. Participants will participate in science and fun activities using their senses to help their faith flow into real life. Youngsters will learn that God made them the way they are and for a purpose.
Holy Angels Parish in Bainbridge had its vacation bible camp June 12-16. Facilitators used crafts, drama, games and more activities to help strengthen the children’s faith.
“Cat Chat,” a wilderness adventure through the sacraments, will be the theme for the St. Sebastian Parish, Akron, VBS July 10-14. There will be games, prizes, fun activities, music, crafts, snacks and more as children learn about keeping Jesus in their hearts.
Team members at St. Peter Parish in North Ridgeville will use the theme “Earth Keepers” for their VBS July 24-28. The program will be based on Pope Francis’ encyclical “On Care for our Common Home.”
Meanwhile, at St. Gabriel Parish in Concord Township, this year’s VBS may be wrapped up, but plans are beginning for next year’s program, which will use the theme “Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus.”