This week marks the beginning of Family Week where schools, parishes and families within the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Diocese of Sale join us in celebrating families!
From Alexandra and Sunbury to Orbost and Yarram, schools from all over Melbourne, Geelong and Gippsland have signed up to participate in Family Week activities with their students.
Strengthening family relationships
Strong family bonds are central to the relationships we form all throughout our lives. It is within the family where we learn to build relationships, and where we find the support and resilience in overcoming adversity in life’s difficult moments.
With this in mind, Family Week is designed to strengthen family relationships for all in our community. Schools and parishes are provided with activities they can use to teach about and strengthen relationships among their families. And in turn, schools and parishes may fundraise for Family Week to support the families who come to CatholicCare in search of support.
“Building Connections in the Spirit of Hope” is this year’s theme for Family Week, evoking ideas on how we can come together to provide hope to every individual, at every stage of life. So how does CatholicCare provide hope to those whom we support?
CatholicCare isn’t just a series of programs and services – we’re a safety net and a capacity builder. We offer services like counselling and emergency relief to provide immediate support in times of distress, but we also equip people with the skills they need to build strong, positive relationships into the future.
Through the words of Fr Gerard Dowling, family counsellor and Spiritual Director at CatholicCare, ‘the hope-filled ministry that is offered by CatholicCare, is enriched by our staff who are motivated to show Christlike love towards those who turn to them for help.’
‘I further believe that we, fellow staff members of CatholicCare wisely open ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, as we work constructively with those who are dissatisfied, to help themselves to achieve the happiness for which they have long been yearning.’
Hope and family in the school
Family Week is a great time for schools to focus on the importance of family and take opportunity to strengthen relationships in the lives of students and teachers.
Some of the activities schools will be participating in this week, and that you may consider for your own school, are:
- Special Masses, assemblies and prayer services attended by parents, grandparents, and carers, then followed by family games or other activities
- Alternatives to homework for the week, such as family activities / ideas on ways to spend quality family time
- Journal prompts relating to family, for more senior students
- A non-uniform day, where students bring coins to place them in the Dove of Hope
- Walk-a-thons that allow conversation to flow between the participants, building relationships while exercising for mental and physical wellbeing.
If you’d like to find more activities and fundraising ideas for Family Week or for throughout the year, check out our Family Week page and register to take part in the fun!
You can also find resources for families and parents on the page, which can be shared within your school community.
CatholicCare wishes all schools and families a joyful and fulfilling celebration of family relationships during this Family Week!