Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Okanogan Vacation Bible School gets surprise visitor

the Inland Register

(From the October 16, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Archbishop Cupich engages with one of the children participating in the Vacation Bible School at Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Okanogan. The archbishop made a surprise visit, talking with and reading to the children. (IR photo courtesy of Tiffani Taylor)

Archbishop Cupich paid a surprise visit to the Vacation Bible School hosted by Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Okanogan, on Friday, July 11.

According to the pastor, Father Lucas Tomson, the Okanogan VBS is a catechesis on the sacraments – what he described as “our attempt at mystagogy,” which in turn the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls initiating people “into the mystery of Christ.”

The VBS program runs for one week, Monday through Friday, from 5-8 p.m. With the help of volunteers, ranging in age from 15-95, participants are served dinner and dessert as well.

Each evening focuses on a different sacrament. Lessons are taught through the use of skits, crafts, games, and talks.

“This year was quite memorable,” said Father Tomson. “On our final evening, after our discussion of the Holy Eucharist, we asked the children to be seated. We told them we had a very special visitor. Then, walking out from behind a screen, Archbishop Cupich entered the room. The children cheered!”

The archbishop sat with the children and talked with them about the beauty of the sacraments and the liturgy. He asked them questions about what they had learned during the week. They were very engaged. The archbishop shared his faith with them, including his own vocation story. He then gave everyone an opportunity to ask him questions.

Afterwards, the archbishop visited with the children and read a story to the children age 3 and under.

At the end of the evening, each of the children were given backpacks filled with school supplies, in order to get ready for this coming academic year. In addition, all participants were given a t-shirt, donated by Pro-Stich Embroidery in Omak.

Other generous donors paid for the program, so all children participated at no cost.

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