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Parishes Across Diocese Offer Vacation Bible Schools

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Summer means Vacation Bible School (VBS) at parishes across the Diocese of Raleigh. Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) have a long tradition of connecting children to God and the Catholic faith in fun, camp-like settings.

In an effort to increase the number of parishes offering VBS, the Office of Catholic Formation & Evangelization has offered support and program suggestions to Faith Formation Directors. This summer 26 parishes offered VBS, accommodating hundreds of families. Programs were offered during the mornings and afternoons and lasted three to five days. Some parishes even included supper.

Children enrolled in Vacation Bible School range from pre-school through elementary ages. But VBS is an intergenerational opportunity for growth and learning: Middle and high school students, parents and grandparents volunteer to make the programs successful. “Attending Vacation Bible School is an excellent way to evangelize and nourish our Catholic faith for both children and adults,” said Sister Rose Adams, I.H.M., Executive Director of Catholic Formation & Evangelization.

Parishes choose their own program or theme for the camp such as Son, Surf Beach Blast, focusing on the Scripture verse John 14:6. (“Jesus said… ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”) Other themes included A Wilderness Journey Through the Sacraments and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Children are divided into age categories and participate in activities such as crafts, games, Bible stories, music and plays, all connected to the week’s theme.  

“I was really impressed to see the joy and sense of community of the participants,” said Sister Adams, who personally visited several of the VBS programs. “They were working, playing and getting to know and love Jesus more fully.”

Above: Children participate in a play at St. Michael the Archangel Parish VBS in Cary.

Below: Adult volunteers at St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish VBS lead children in a song.