Vacation Bible school tries to reach future Catholic school kids

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | August 13, 2014

ST. NAZIANZ — St. Gregory Parish’s vacation Bible school, held July 28 to Aug. 1, not only provided 33 children a week of religious-themed activities, it gave families from around the county a closer look at St. Gregory School.

Salvatorian Fr. Patrick Nelson blesses animals outside of St. Gregory School in St. Nazianz following vacation Bible school Aug. 1. Thirty-three children participated in the week-long summer religious program. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)
Salvatorian Fr. Patrick Nelson blesses animals outside of St. Gregory School in St. Nazianz following vacation Bible school Aug. 1. Thirty-three children participated in the week-long summer religious program. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

By exposing more families to the Catholic school, the parish hopes to attract new students, according to Salvatorian Fr. Patrick Nelson, pastor. With an enrollment of 33 last year, he said building enrollment at the school is important for its survival. “We are looking at ways to increase numbers,” he said. “Vacation Bible school is one of the things we are doing.”

This is the second year the Manitowoc County parish has sponsored a vacation Bible school. Last year’s program attracted 24 children, said Melissa Frost, vacation Bible school coordinator.

In addition to Frost, six other adults and 13 teens led the week-long summer program, which had the theme, “Weird Animals: Where Jesus’ Love is One of a Kind.”

Keeping with the animal theme, a pet blessing was held on the program’s final day. Fr. Nelson led a blessing of animals, which included dogs, cats and plenty of rabbits and stuffed animals.

“Our secular culture seems to have forgotten how to raise kids with faith-based education,” added Fr. Nelson. He is hoping the vacation Bible school will bring more families back into the fold.

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