RALEIGH, N.C. — Francis Critch, OFM, read stories and played music this summer, as St. Francis of Assisi Church here welcomed 239 children in grades pre-K through 5 to Camp EDGE, which stands for Experience and Discover God Everywhere. The June 22 to 26 camp also included 62 teen and more than 80 adult volunteers.
Scripture, stories and music were a large part of the children’s experience, according to Maureen Leahy, the parish’s director of faith formation for children. Francis, a formation student, said he enjoyed reading stories to the children and playing music.
“His gift of music was greatly appreciated, particularly when the catechists asked him to accompany them on guitar to ‘Living on the Edge’ by Aerosmith,” said Leahy. “Though out of his comfort zone, Br. Frank rose to the occasion and played in front of all the parents at our closing ceremony.”
Vacation Bible school students were also invited to sing with the campers, during a 9:30 a.m. closing Mass on June 28. “It was cute to see all the kids in their white Camp EDGE shirts on the altar,” said Leahy, including Frank in his brown habit.
In addition to serving at Camp EDGE, Frank also spent June 15 through 19 assisting at Mercy Camp, which is located on the parish property. Mercy campers serve throughout the Raleigh area at food banks, homeless shelters, on immigration committees and more.
“The summer really focused on the needs of the parish and responding to ministries that needed to be filled,” said Frank. “The parish is a very collaborative ministry assignment with dedicated and committed staff and volunteers. The ministries are as varied as the church itself.”
For the rest of the summer, Frank plans to focus on visiting the homebound and hospitalized, participating in communion services, preaching and playing music.
He said he has been pleased with his experience at the Raleigh friar community.
— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut based writer, contributes frequetnly to this newsletter.