The kid’s village was held on 13th September 2016 at Don Bosco school Panjim. Kids from all the chapters in Goa had come to attend the same. The theme was “I too can be a Saint“. As the kids arrived at the venue, bubbling with energy and enthusiasm, they were welcomed by the youth and singles who would be their big brothers and sisters for the rest of the day. The model saints that were chosen were St. Dominic Savio and St. Therese of Lisieux as the kids would be able to relate to them easily. The program began with a short time of praise led by the band, Christ Avenue. All the kids praised and thanked God earnestly as well as danced their little hearts out during this time. Later groups were formed based on their age and they had their big brothers and sisters as tribe leaders who led them through the different workshops. The kids were very energetic and happy as they got into their groups and started mixing around and making new friends.
There were 4 main aspects of the covenant which were covered through workshops. Each aspect was broken up into smaller more interactive sessions in order to help the kids understand better.
In one of the workshops titled “GOD AND ME“, the main concept conveyed was that we are created in the image and likeness of God and He reminds us that we are called to be holy just as He is holy. The kids were encouraged to begin doing this in small ways by being obedient, saying their prayers and above all being cheerful. Stories based on the lives of St. Therese as well as St. Dominic Savio helped the kids to relate so well and really take home the message that they too can be saints and that holiness is not very difficult to attain. The parable of the sower helped them understand the importance of meditating on God’s Word, which they were able to put into practice in the activity on Lectio Divina which followed.
In the workshop titled “ITS FAMILY TIME“, the kids learnt that their families are a gift from God and that they have to reflect His holiness there as well. They learnt that this could be done by making small sacrifices for the members of their family and doing their chores even when not asked to do so. The lives of the saints reinforced this point, while the story on “washing of the feet” helped them understand the importance of being humble and that when we serve one another, we are reflecting Jesus. They then made concrete decisions to practice few acts of service in their own homes.
The kids also learnt about working together and serving one another in CFCI Kids as well as in their respective parishes, through the workshop on “BUILDING THE COMMUNITY“. With the help of an object lesson they realised that though individually they may be weak, as a community they are strong and can support and learn from each other. Though the disciples came from different backgrounds, they were able to spread the good news effectively because they worked together. They learnt how they too can serve in their parishes through altar service, singing in the choir, etc. and to encourage their brothers and sister in CFCI Kids by praying for them, guiding them, and learning from them. This was demonstrated through small snipets from the lives of the saints. They then “reached out” as a community by making a card for the people in old aged homes.
In the workshop titled, “BE A SAINT“, the kids heard the story of St. Dominic Savio and how he stood for Christ among his friends and was a witness even at a really young age. A video clip on the life of St. Therese showed them that even praying for others, just like she did is a way of drawing them closer to God. The story of Philip, one of the apostles showed them how they are to live out the call that God has given each one of us, to go and make disciples of all men. Through an activity wherein they had to knock down bowling pins while blind folded, solely depending on their teammates, they learnt that we cannot do everything on our own strength and need to depend on the Holy Spirit who is our helper and guide. This workshop concluded with a small group discussion wherein the kids made a firm decision to follow Jesus and to strive towards a life of holiness.
During the course of the day, between workshops, the holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Jude which was a very interactive service. All the kids participated whole heartedly, being involved in the liturgy as well as by answering all the questions asked by father. The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a group picture, after which everyone proceeded to have lunch. The workshops continued post lunch and the day ended with a short praise fest where all the action songs that were done during the day were taken, and the kids danced away happily. They then left the venue telling their parents excitedly of all they had learnt the entire day and with the desire that “I too can be a Saint” burning in their hearts.