Vacation Bible School programs help children grow in faith

GREEN BAY — Thanks to all the coordinators and volunteers who share their time and talents to make Vacation Bible School programs successful throughout the diocese. Kate Ruth, youth minister at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Green Bay, invited me to visit the recent Vacation Bible School held at Holy Family School in Green Bay. The program is a collaborative effort by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Agnes and the Quad Parishes of the west side of Green Bay. “The Marvelous Mystery: The Mass” served as this year’s theme.

“We looked at the Mass in a new way,” explained Deborah Gretzinger, coordinator of religious education at St. Agnes Parish. “We looked at the Mass as a mystery and talked about the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. We talked about the Mass as a gift, as a celebration, a meal and as a call.”

Vacation Bible School participants dance and sing along to the music at Holy Family School in Green Bay.

Vacation Bible School participants dance and sing along to the music on Aug. 5 at Holy Family School in Green Bay.

The Bible school attracted 98 children in grades kindergarten through fifth. Middle school and high school students joined young adult and adult volunteers to lead small group stations. Participants received a T-shirt, CD, trading cards and daily snacks, and made a craft item each day.

“We’ve already had kids say, ‘What are you doing next year?’ They want to know what the theme will be; what color T-shirts. They are super excited. Most of our volunteers come back each year,” said Gretzinger.

The Vacation Bible School moves among the parishes each summer. Last year, Mindy Wegner, elementary and young family coordinator for the Quad Parishes hosted. Next summer, the Bible school will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church with Carrie Lundy, faith formation coordinator hosting. The week closes with Mass and picnic, in which family members are invited to attend.