On Sunday, April 18th, Family Apostolate put together a birthday party for Seniors at the Catholic Church of Glen Burnie who are 80 years and above. The oldest person who attended the party would be a hundred years on December 8, 2016. It was fun all the way. The seniors rocked and rolled. They had their dance shoes like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire! The mood was that of petal pushers, duck tail hair and rootbeer floats. Who could forget the sock hops, soda shops and music by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley that brought reminiscence to the senior folks.
The event began with holy mass concelebrated by the pastor Fr. Lou C. Martin and Fr. Vin Arisukwu as the chief presider. Deacons Kevin Brown and German Flores assisted. The seniors were delighted to receive the sacrament of anointing of the sick at the mass.
The event then shifted to the Holy Trinity parish hall where over seventy seniors, led by members of their families were treated to series of entertainments. There were solo performers, dance groups from both anglo and Hispanic communities. Seniors received gifts of different signicances,enjoyed cup cakes, shared jokes, exchanged pleasantries with friends whom they never saw in years back and were treated to a lasagna dinner. They were served by combined cheerful boys and cub scouts volunteers. The highlight of the occasion was the gift of the Papal blessing for each of the seniors on which Pope Francis felicitated with them for being committed members of the church throughout their years of service. It was a moment of inspiration and a practical expression of stewardship for one another.
And what did the celebration mean for the seniors themselves? The seniors said it was simply refreshing and amazing. Evelyn Dunne who attended with her husband, Jim, said "it was a lovely thing. A lot of us have known each other for years and years". They said they never felt being remembered in such an intentional way before. After the party, Dora Gaton wrote:
"Dear Fr. Vin,
Just a short note to
thank you and your committee for hosting the Happy Birthday Celebration Party
for the octogenarians and over. The Mass celebration and subsequent dinner
and entertainment were very uplifting. It was really great seeing the
Church community gather for such an event. A special thanks also to Fr.
Lou, the Deacons and those that assisted during Mass.
We will forever cherish the memories of the celebration and the proclamation
plaque from Pope Francis.
Dora Gatton, Age 91
The 80s party was published in the Catholic Review magazine, May 2016 edition, page 15.
Old age is a blessing!