The Spirit is alive during the summer at Cape parish


By Becky Aubut
Anchor Staff
beckyaubut@anchornews.org

BREWSTER, Mass. — As the beaches on Cape Cod open their gates to incoming visitors, Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster is opening its doors to a number of activities during the summer months, including promoting the welcoming ministry, Catholics Come Home.

“Our pastor, Father William Kaliyadan, had run this program in his previous parish with great success,” said Kathy Russo, director of the parish’s Adult and Family Faith Formation. “He was very enthusiastic to run it again at Our Lady of the Cape. I was really excited to work with him on it.”

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According to the Catholics Come Home website (www.CatholicsComeHome.org), the message is in the name — come home. “Maybe you have been away from the Church for a little while or for quite some time,” states the site, “but now you feel a tug at your heart calling you back to the Catholic Church. It’s your Heavenly Father reaching out His arms to you, the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear, hoping to draw you home. Regardless of why you left or got out of the habit of going to Mass, you can always come home and return to the practice of the Sacraments and the fullness of a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church.”

Working with Father Kaliyadan, Russo helped put together a team of parishioners who were interested in seeing the program come to fruition at the parish. With the parish under the care of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, the charism of their religious community is to reconcile people to God, “so it’s a charism that all of us at the parish share in, so there’s a great enthusiasm for trying to help those who have drifted away from their faith and know that they’re welcome to come back,” said Russo. “We’re opening the doors wide open for them.”

“As Catholics, we all know the statistics of people who have drifted away from their faith,” added Russo, “and we care about those who have drifted away from their faith and it seemed a great opportunity to get the whole parish involved in trying to invite those people back.”

Promoting the Catholics Come Home program during the summer was by design, said Russo. Having a parish located on the Cape, there’s an uptick in the number of people visiting the area and the parish wants to reach as many people as possible, she said.

“That’s our call, as followers of Christ,” said Russo. “That’s what we’re trying to do, make the riches of our faith available. We want to make it clear that everyone is welcome.”

Building off a rich, family-oriented Faith Formation program already established at Our Lady of the Cape, Russo said the parish is holding its first Grandparents Camp.

“We’re inviting grandparents and children [from our parish] to come for Grandparents Camp, which will be a chance for the adults and the children to come together for a morning of faith-building activities, crafts and games,” said Russo. “Together they’ll explore, with the adults sitting right with the children, together they’ll engage in exploring what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”

This year’s theme is “Discipleship at Every Age,” and grandparents are invited to bring their grandchildren, and grandchildren are invited to come with their grandparents; children who would like to participate but are unable to bring a grandparent may invite another adult to accompany them. 

The idea of a grandparent-type program came about during a discussion of a vacation Bible study, “but as we considered it, we decided that what would be more in line with our goals of Faith Formation at Our Lady of the Cape would be to have an intergenerational program,” said Russo. “We have a family catechesis here, called ‘Faith on Fire,’ where parents attend with their children, and grandparents are welcome too. We’ve had great success with that. We’re finding that our families like coming and growing in their faith together. We have a lot of grandparents who live on the Cape who have their grandchildren visiting them, and so it’s a great opportunity for the generations to come together and enjoy some time focusing on their faith.”

Grandparents’ Camp will be offered on two separate mornings, on July 11 and August 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Russo is asking that there be one adult with no more than two children, and pre-registration is required. 

Registration forms are located at Our Lady of the Cape Church entrances, in the parish’s Religious Education newsletter and on the parish’s website, www.ourladyofthecape.org. The cost is $20 per family group per morning. 

Currently the Grandparents Camp is for Our Lady of the Cape parishioners only. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Russo at russokathleena@gmail.com, or call her at 508-385-3252, ext. 14. 

Our Lady of the Cape is launching its second Summer Speaker Series and is offering each session with an option for a light dinner for $5 at 5:30 p.m., with the speaker presenting at 6 p.m.

“No RSVP is needed, everyone is welcome to come,” said Russo. “We have three really dynamic speakers I’m really excited about having. We’re in the process of completing a new prayer garden at the parish, and we’ll have a labyrinth.” 

And the labyrinth will be completed just in time for Father Timothy Joyce, O.S.B., who is presenting “Labyrinths and Labyrinth Prayer,” on July 18. A Benedictine monk at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Father Joyce is involved in the abbey’s interfaith lecture series and its institute, and leads annual pilgrimages. He has written and published books on Celtic Christianity, and the abbey’s history. 

Peggy Patenaude, founder of the Taking Time Out retreat, is presenting, “Life is Good” on July 25. Having served in the fields of Religious Education, pastoral ministry and prison work for nearly 50 years, Patenaude’s talk will focus on how to live life joyfully.

“Life Long, Die Short,” is the name of the presentation by Dr. Roger Landry, being held on August 2. Landry is a preventive medicine physician and author of “Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successfully Aging,” where he shares the landmark study by the MacArthur Foundation that shattered the stereotypes of aging as a process of slow, genetically determined decline. 

Our Lady of the Cape Parish is located at 468 Stony Brook Road in Brewster. If you’d like more information on their upcoming Summer Speaker Series or Catholics Come Home, call 508-385-3252 or visit their website: www.OurLadyoftheCape.org.


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