“I came to the Festival of Friendship at the invitation of a friend, Suzanne. I have been a part of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program since I was 4 years old, and when Suzanne invited me to come volunteer with the Good Shepherd exhibit, I could not resist. I came expecting to talk to people about my love for the Good Shepherd program, to be a light for others to see the beauty of the program through. I came ready to give. Instead I received.
The whole atmosphere of the festival was, unsurprisingly, amiable. I’m not an outgoing person, yet I felt comfortable talking to all of these friendly people there, and even better, listening. I most enjoyed hearing Rebekah Rojcewicz speak, both at the exhibit and up on stage. In a world that often looks down on growing children as miscreants from the start, it was refreshing to hear Ms. Rojcewicz speak of them with hope as having so much potential for good. I also was really blessed to see the impact that the Good Shepherd exhibit had on the volunteers and visitors, and it was humbling to see that I had no part in their awe. I spoke with some volunteers who had no experience with the program, and it was wonderful to hear how the works on display had moved them. And since it was a hands-on exhibit, it was even more amazing to watch a little boy, around age 6, walk up to a material at the perfect height for him, pick up the fake chalice and paper host, hold them up in the gesture of the offering, and then proceed to “distribute” the two to the invisible communicants nearby.
And of course it was fitting that when I finished my volunteer shift and was free the rest of the day to listen to talks, I ended up developing a new friendship at the correctly named Festival of Friendship that at this rate I expect will last a lifetime. God has a funny way of working. I left for the Festival bright and early Saturday morning, tired and stressed. I came back after the sun was asleep with a smile on my face, a budding friendship in my heart, and an appreciation for the little things God does to make the day great. I came back a different Rachel than the one that left that morning.”
- Rachel, Volunteer at 2017 Festival of Friendship