On Saturday, November 16, the Servant Priests, Brothers, and Sisters of the Home of the Mother organized a get-together for families in Mitchelstown (Co. Cork), Ireland.
The day was supposed to be rainy, but our Blessed Mother smiled on us and held off the rain so that some of her young children could play outside.
About 50 people came from different parts of the country to take part in the encounter, along with 4 Servant Priests and Brothers and 9 Sisters from their respective communities of Mallow, Roscommon, and Mitchelstown. The place was full of small children, as well as adolescents, youth, and adults of all different ages. Some families had even made the sacrifice of travelling from as far as Dublin and Kerry to be able to participate!
We started off the encounter with Holy Mass celebrated by the Servant Priests at 2:00 in the afternoon. Later, we split into groups in order to have catechesis or a talk for the different ages. The group of adults listened to Fr. René explain about the Home of the Mother, and they commented on the needs for our 3 missions in Ireland at this point in her history. There were several other groups of young people and small children who all had both catechesis and plenty of time for playing games!
Afterwards we came together again to pray the Rosary and sing hymns to our Blessed Mother. Finally—having worked up an appetite—we put together the different plates everyone had brought and shared a delicious meal.
The day could not finish without a bit of lively music on the guitar and, of course, Fr. René's juggling show for the young (and old) members of the crowd. We then said our goodbyes as several families had quite a long way to travel back home and it was already dark.
As one young father of a family commented, the Family Day was a "spiritual oasis badly needed" for families struggling to live out their faith in the midst of a society many times hostile to the Lord and His Will for our lives. How helpful it is for families to come together in community and support each other in their firm commitment to truly follow Jesus Christ!
We place the fruits of this Family Day in the hands and Heart of our dearest Mother Mary, and hopefully it will not be long before we see everyone again at the next one!