On Sunday, May 8th, the Family of the Incarnate Word held a “Family Day” with families from the Third Order at a farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the site of the novitiate house of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM). Family Day was originally supposed to be on May 1st; due to foul weather, the event was moved to May 8th. The change was providential: May 8th turned out to be a beautiful day, as only a bit of breeze could be the cause of complaint for the 150 people or so who attended.
The afternoon started with a warm welcome: as families arrived they had the opportunity to chat amongst themselves and purview various books from IVE Press that were on display. At around 12:30 PM parents and youth attended formative talks on the faith, the family, and the education of the family.
After the talks was a barbeque lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and lemonade, followed by a period of games, community time and relaxation. Among the various activities were soccer, basketball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, moon bounce, maze, swings, and bicycle karting. Children enjoyed the opportunity to feed the goats and other farm animals such as horses, sheep, pigs and ducks.
Many took advantage of the opportunity to go to the many priests available for confessions. In preparation for the Holy Mass was a Rosary procession with the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, around the grounds of the farm. Lastly, yet most importantly, was the Holy Mass itself, the place where all Catholics receive their spiritual nourishment. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “The Christian family’s sanctifying role is grounded in Baptism and has its highest expression in the Eucharist” (Familiaris Consortio 57).
After the final blessing, all of the mothers came up to the altar to receive a Mother’s Day rose.
Let us thank Our Lady for all of the many fruits – both seen and unseen – from Family Day. We also pray to Our Lady, Queen of the Family, for the sanctification of all families.