Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 13, 2009
Families find renewal at Lac Ste. Anne Campout
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
LAC STE. ANNE - For Darren and Carole Kirk of Vegreville the annual Catholic Family Life Conference here has become part of their summer routine.
They have been attending for at least 10 years and keep coming back for spiritual renewal.
"The sessions are wonderful and we just love to be around other good Catholic families, just to feel that support and camaraderie with everybody," Carole said. "It's nice because we have Mass and adoration and Confession and spiritual direction."
The Kirks usually attend along with other Vegreville couples, which Carole says help strengthen the bonds among members of their parish. They are among hundreds of conference participants who camp at Lac Ste. Anne for the duration of the conference.
During the day they listen to a variety of speakers and at night they sit around the fire with their friends playing the guitar and singing spiritual songs.
The Kirks children, all six of them, also enjoy attending the sessions offered at the conference for children of different ages.
"We feel totally renewed when we leave," said Darren, a teacher.
Some 430 families, about 1,500 people, attended the 14th annual Catholic Family Life Conference July 2-5. Catholic Family Ministries organizes the conference.
"People come because they are getting good, solid catechesis but I think more important than that is they get to meet other families who are coming together for the same thing," said conference organizer Maurice Beier.
"They support and encourage one another; here they are not ostracized for having more than two children. A lot of them have six or eight kids. It's wonderful to see the kids growing up in the faith."
Glen and Karen Snethun of Devon have attended the event the past two years.
"It's a special spot," Karen said looking at the landscape around the shrine. "It's very rewarding to meet with other Catholic families and to share in the worship, learning and fellowship."
"It's encouraging to see other families of the same pursuit," added Glen. "Our (two) kids like to be with their fellow peers too."
Georgia, the Snethun's nine-year-old daughter, said she gets a lot out of the conference.
"I gain new friends, I play a lot of different games and I am able to just get really close to Jesus," she said.