More than 30 families had fun and inspiration at the second Family Weekend held by the Hamilton diocese at Taupo on November 6-8.
Diocesan event organiser Brigid Conroy said the theme of this year’s event was “The Church of the Home” based on the Catholic Catechism’s teaching that the Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of faith.
“Jesus was born into a human family – and by doing this sanctified family life. Parents, children, and family members form what is called a domestic church or church of the home,” she said. “This is the primary unit of the Church – the place where the Church lives in the daily love, care, hospitality, sacrifice, forgiveness, prayer and faith of ordinary families.”
The aim of the weekend was to give families a chance “to re-centre their marriages and family lives on Jesus Christ”.
Ms Conroy said there was age-appropriate catechesis for the children and a talk for parents.
“Our speakers were Tim and Jennifer Goulding, from Christchurch, who have been married for over 35 years and have six adult children. Their topics were what marriage is, personal testimony and practical marriage enrichment exercises and advice.”
She said attendees were thrilled by the content and found it very beneficial.
The children, on the other hand, were kept busy with bouncy castles, candy floss and backyard cricket, a “massive highlight” of the family fun afternoon.
“At the end, I asked the children to raise their hands if they enjoyed the weekend and a sea of hands went up,” Ms Conroy said.
“And then, [I asked] would they come back next year? Yet again, just as quickly, 115 little hands shot into the air! A good sign of success if the children have enjoyed themselves!” she said.
Ms Conroy said they were more careful with putting out advertisements for this event due to the pandemic.
“Although planning with the parish at Tongariro Catholic began early in the year, we put most of the planning on hold until about a month out from the event when we had a bit more certainty that the event could go forward,” she explained.
Bishop Stephen Lowe was not able to attend because he had to go to Confirmations and First Eucharist celebrations that were postponed due to Alert level restrictions and moved to that weekend.