Oct. 21 event invites grades 3-7 to explore missionary calling

By Beth Donze, Kids’ Clarion Editor

The Archdiocese of New Orleans will mark Children’s Mission Day with a Saturday program of games, talks, music and Mass focusing on Christians’ shared baptismal calling to spread the Gospel both at home and abroad.

Boys and girls in grades 3-7 who are enrolled in a Catholic school or parish school of religion can still register for the event, set for Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Dominican High gym.

The day will explore the theme “Mission at the Heart of the Church.”

Following registration, the main activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an opening prayer and songs.

At 9:45, Maureen Heil, a mission educator from the Archdiocese of Boston, will tell the children about her experiences in Uganda with the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA).

Participants will use the ensuing break to play games from other countries, among them the Belgian game “chenille-assis” (caterpillar sitting down).

The young attendees and their chaperones will also learn about the World Mission Rosary, whose multi-colored beads remind the faithful to lift up every part of the world in prayer. All will create a World Mission Rosary bracelet to take home and be treated to a dance demonstration by the St. Peter Claver Liturgical Dancers.

After lunch, Father Deogratias Opada Ekisa – vice rector, director of human formation and chair-professor of sacramental-liturgical theology at Notre Dame Seminary – will speak to the children about the MCA in his native Uganda.

Pianist-organist Roberto Matthews, minister of music at Christ the King Church in Terrytown and St. Joseph and Our Lady of Guadalupe churches in New Orleans, will lead the children in song.

Children’s Mission Day will conclude with a 2 p.m. Mass with Archbishop Gregory Aymond, principal celebrant; and concelebrants Father Ekisa and Father James Jeanfreau Jr., archdiocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, whose office sponsors the event.

The cost for the day is $15. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, lunch and a drink. For information, call Tanya Cenac at 527-5773 or visit www.archnomo.org.

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