Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fulton Sheen Family Day Recap

This past Saturday, we celebrated the life and teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen with the 2nd Annual Fulton Sheen Family Day.  (You can read about last year's event hereBonnie, The Sheen Foundation, and I did the planning, and we decided to change things up a little from last year's event (which was held in Peoria and included tours of the Sheen museum and St. Mary's Cathedral) and hosted it in El Paso, IL, the place of Sheen's birth, baptism, and early growing up years.

While the numbers were small, we still had a great day with the families that came to learn and enjoy, some of my former students who were there to help teach others what they know about Sheen, and the adult volunteers who made everything run smoothly.  We'll rotate back to Peoria next year, and hope to see even more families come to learn about the faith that Sheen loved so much. 

The Venue:
We held the event at St. Mary's in El Paso, IL, the Baptismal parish of Fulton Sheen.  They have a beautiful old church and a lovely new hall and a priest who loves Fulton Sheen :).

Sr. Lea and Sr. Ann from the Fulton Sheen Museum helped us plan the event and did lots of behind the scenes work.  They came to help, but had never been to El Paso, so we made a quick stop at the historical marker at the location of Sheen's birth.

Snacks were an important part of hosting this event. My mom made these awesome Sheen-inspired-blackboard cookie cakes.  Bonnie provided a delicious spread of cookies, rice krispy treats, fruit, and veggies that made everyone happy.

The Door Prizes:
It's always great to provide resources for people to take home with them, and it is super fun to WIN something, so we had ten door prizes that the families in attendance could win:
Sophia Institute Press generously donated Angel in the Waters, Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book, and God's World and Our Place In It

Ignatius Press was gracious enough to send a copy of Sheen's Remade for Happiness.

The Sheen Foundation donated A Man for All Media, The World's First Love, The Priest is Not His Own, and St. Terese, A Treasured Love Story.

They also donated ten World Mission Rosaries that had been made third class relics by touching them to a vial of St. John Paul II's blood.  They were packaged beautifully showing the connection between Sheen and JP2.

Matt Faley, talented Catholic musician with ties to Peoria, donated copies of his awesome CD, The Only Light.

We also had some fun things like DVDs, Sacred Heart and Blessed Virgin Mary framable prints, kids books, etc.

The Activities:

 We had the movie Servant of All playing where people could watch and listen throughout the afternoon.

We borrowed the life-sized Sheen cutout from the museum so that people could take their picture with him.  Here is Fr. Don from St. Mary's wearing one of Sheen's vestments.

The Sisters from the museum brought several artifacts and relics from the museum for people to see, and Fr. Don had pictures of Sheen on various visits back to El Paso.

We had lots of copies of Fulton Sheen Quote coloring pages on tables around the room for families to color while eating snack or to take home for later.  You can find these coloring pages here.

World Mission Rosary:
One of the craft stations was about the World Mission Rosary.  You can find a whole post about this activity here, a coloring page here, and instructions/lesson plan for teaching about it by clicking on the image below:

Spiritual Adoption:
Another station was about Spiritual Adoption.  You can read about Spiritual Adoption activities here and here, and can see the Touch of Life Fetal models in action here. Click on the image below for the instructions/lesson plan.

 The Woman I Love Miraculous Medals:
We also made some awesome giant Miraculous Medals inspired by Catholic Icing but using this printable. A Sheen quote coloring page about Mary can be found here. You can click on the image below for the instructions/lesson.

The Priest is Not His Own:
The priest & altar craft is really cool because it is a priest on one side, and when you flip it over it is Jesus on the other side- perfect for helping explain In Persona Christi to kids.
I didn't create this original activity- it was a download from Catechist Magazine several years ago that I have used many times over. However, while I would like share the printable with you, the activity has been removed and all of the old links are inactive. I have contacted them to ask if there is a way that I can (legally) still share it, but they have never gotten back to me- which is too bad, because this is an awesome project.  We also used the coloring page you can find here.  You can click below to see the instructions/lesson that went along with this station:
After all of the activities, we moved over to the church for a Holy (half) Hour.  Fr. Don did an amazing job praying with the kids gathered around the steps of the Sanctuary, a friend led us in song with her beautiful voice, and we had this Adoration booklet for this kids to use as a resource. (come back on Friday and I'll have the booklet available as a printable!). After the Holy Hour, the families were invited to stay for the Vigil Mass

It was a great day!  Make sure you go check out Bonnie's recap of the day in this post!  If you are in El Paso or Peoria in the future, we highly recommend you check out the places that were important to Sheen.  We are grateful to our donors Matt Faley, Sophia Institute Press, Ignatius Press, and the Sheen Foundation, as well as Fr. Don and St. Mary's Parish for hosting us.  All of the adults and my students that came to help as volunteers were awesome and so appreciated.

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