|Christina Van Dorpe paints windows with her dad in Oxford|
weekend in October was Father-Daughter Weekend at the Immaculate
Conception Program in Oxford, MI and Mater Ecclesiae College
in Greenville, RI. Dads travelled from around the country for
a weekend of bonding time and fix-up.
Immaculate Conception Program
In Oxford, almost
all of the IC girls’ dads made it for the
weekend. The girls helped their dads with projects including painting,
‘winterizing’ the windows, fixing cars, and taking out air conditioner
units. They also had Mass together, as well as ‘dinner
with a show,’ with everyone’s talents on display!
Dads and daughters
alike enjoyed the time together, and everyone appreciated their generous
service! The Immaculate Conception Program is hoping to make a
tradition of father-daughter weekends each semester.
See pictures of the weekend here!
Mater Ecclesiae College
Ten dads and two brothers from Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa,
New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina arrived for MEC’s
first father-daughter weekend.
Nicolette Chmiel shares her experience.
Ecclesiae College looks as if a hurricane had come through,
taking down trees and branches, but leaving everything perfectly trimmed. It was no hurricane…it was the first father-daughter
weekend at MEC!
|Trimming trees in Greenville|
I picked up my dad from
the airport on Thursday night and we began the weekend
with dinner and a ping pong game. Dad
won the best out of three, but I was the
champion foosball player. No matter what we did that weekend,
I just wanted to be with my dad.
and early the next day, we joined the other dads
and daughters to work. Despite dreary weather, Aaron Sweers said
that he couldn’t wait to get outside to trim the
bushes - even in the pouring rain!
first project was to assemble the new book shelves for
the library. The pieces were scattered across the floor like
Legos waiting to be constructed. With six men on the
job, it didn’t take long; the lunch bell rang as
we put the last shelf in place. One morning’s work
saved our maintenance man five weeks of labor.
lunch, it was evident that damp weather did not dampen
anyone’s spirit. The dads who had just met already seemed
like old friends, joking and drinking beer. I enjoyed watching
the interaction between the other dads, laughing at their jokes
and happy to see my dad having a great time.
There seemed to be a growing list of projects,
so each dad with his daughter tackled a different job.
While some dads and daughters painted a couple of rooms
in the house, my dad and I moved some furniture
into a storage shed. Rain did not stop Aaron and
several others from getting the yard work done. Like boys
at play with their favorite toys, a few dads with
two chain saws, a couple of trimmers, and a hedge
cutter worked wonders for our garden. At about 4:30, drenched
and cold, we wandered into the house for hot chocolate.
We cleaned up for evening Mass, then closed the night
with dinner and a trip to the local ice cream
All of the MEC students joined the activities
with dads on Saturday. We started with Mass and breakfast,
concluding with a performance by the Mater Ecclesiae choir. The
rain stopped, so everyone worked in the yard. As the
dads used the power toys - I mean, tools -
the students hauled truckloads of branches to the brush pile.
|MEC dads and daughters |
Dad and I stayed close to the pile to
unload the trucks. To make things more exciting, we had
a javelin throwing contest to see who could launch a
stick the farthest. I won, but only because Dad threw
a whole tree instead of a stick. Once the job
was complete, we walked around to survey the work. Dad
joked that the brush pile took over an acre of
land; after all, we practically took down the forest.
work didn’t tire everyone. We put away our tools, and
it was time to play. The father-daughter volleyball game made
that night’s dinner well-earned. Some of the dads fixed an
awesome meal of hamburgers and fried mashed potatoes, complete with
apple crisp a la mode for dessert.
the weekend together with a bonfire and s‘mores.
Even though only ten of our dads came for the
weekend, we were one family, working together, praying together, laughing
together, and singing together. Sunday afternoon my dad
flew back to Ohio. Although now we are
states apart, the experience we shared keeps us close together.