By Sheila, Holy Family Fest Mom
My husband and I have been married for nearly 17 years, and we have taken as many vacations. I am the planner, and I am an expert at finding amazing deals on luxury accommodations. We once had a breathtaking view of the Niagara river in Canada. One year, we had a new baby and I found a great rate on a room at the Palm Beach Hilton. When we arrived, we were upgraded to the presidential suite because it was available. We had three balconies overlooking the white beaches and turquoise ocean. When we had three kids, we made the perfunctory trip to Disney. These vacations were fun and memorable. But, when I arrived home, I noticed how ordinary and messy our house was. I did not feel rejuvenated. I felt like I was missing something.
Two years in a row, my brother tried to invite us to CATHOLIC FAMILYLAND® in Ohio. We thought it was some kind of charismatic, fringe element in the Church and shelved the idea. But, our lackluster vacations of years past led us to finally taking them up on the offer and we joined them.
At the end of Mass, the children (4 and up) are dismissed to attend morning groups with their peers. This past year, all five of my children were old enough to participate in the faith formation activities. What other all inclusive vacation provides this? I know my kids are safe thanks to the great efforts of the Catholic Church to protect my children. I know that they are being taught virtues through the loving example of the volunteers who teach them.
And one of the best parts is that my husband and I get some time away from them to learn more about our beautiful Faith, to meet other couples who are on the same journey, and to sip coffee without interruption.
My kids have never experienced such freedom, and I have never experienced such confidence in allowing them to roam a park. At Disney, we needed those harnesses and leashes.