Looming clouds didn’t scare away the gathering crowd at
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary on July 28 for the archdiocese’s second-ever
Families descended on the seminary grounds
beginning around 2 p.m. for an afternoon filled with games, prizes,
music and Mass to celebrate the upcoming World Meeting of Families next
month in Dublin. In keeping with the Dublin event, the Palooza sported
an Irish theme.
“It brings (families) all together,” said Julie
Bostick, director of the archdiocesan Office of Marriage and Family
Life, who helped organize the event.
Papa Palooza began with games
on the seminary’s field, including Plinko, life-sized
Hungry-Hungry-Hippos (recast as “Fishers of Men”), a maze, musical
chairs (dubbed “Shamrock Shuffle”) and an animatronic pig race
(“Prodigal Son Relay”).
In addition to the Scriptural twists to
the names of many games, several activities included a catechetical
component, such as prayers and fun facts scattered throughout the maze
or trivia questions in Plinko. Competitors won raffle tickets which
could be entered into a number of baskets with themes such as “Family
Movie Night,” “Holy Land,” “Italy” and “Date Night.” Winners were drawn
Vicki Clayton said that the most enjoyable part of
the day was “the games, having kids of all ages be able to enjoy the
games.” Vicki and her husband Randall Clayton, of St. Richard Parish in
Creve Coeur, attended with their seven children.
“I really like the Irish theme, because I’m an Irish dancer,” laughed their daughter Anna Clayton.
gave way to Mass at 4 p.m., and the rainy weather held off until all
had gathered under the tent during the Introductory Rite. Auxiliary
Bishop Mark Rivituso celebrated the Mass, preaching on the importance of
family life rooted in faith.
“As we celebrate faith, family and life, He is the one that we need,” Bishop Rivituso said in his homily.
A dinner of sandwiches and pasta followed Mass, served under the tents as the rain let up almost entirely.
entertainment came in the form of music and dancing by St. Louis Irish
Arts. After initial performances by the group’s members, children were
invited to the stage and taught a progression of steps, performing for
the crowd. The evening closed with a concert by Adam Wright and the
Church Band; Wright is music director at Christ Prince of Peace Parish.
Crowds continued to float around until after 7 p.m.
“When you get
to come to an event like this, you get to see so many people in that
family” of the Church, said Ralph Bostick, Julie’s husband, who
volunteered with the games. “You get to talk to them, and participate
with them and share your faith and everything with them. It’s awesome.”
it wasn’t just families at the festivities. Seminarians and religious
sisters roamed through the crowd, obvious in their Kenrick-Glennon
shirts and habits, respectively.
“A critical element of Papa
Palooza is the seminarians being present to the children, and nuns in
habits,” said Lori Anderson of Sacred Heart Parish in Troy. “Our
children can (have) fellowship with those who serve in the cloth. That’s
why I came back.” Anderson attended the event three years ago and
returned this year with her daughter Hannah and granddaughter Lilli.
Andrew Mason, whose parents and eight siblings attended with the Claytons, summed up the day.
“Family fun,” he said. “It’s a great time, good food, and there’s Mass. I mean, what’s not to like?”