– The “door of faith” is always open for us,
ushering us into the life of communion with God and
offering entry into his Church, wrote Pope Benedict XVI in
his letter to initiate the Year of Faith; To enter
through that door is to set out on a journey
that lasts a lifetime.
Last weekend, 85 girls made a step
on the journey of faith at the Aflame with Faith
Ancora convention in Oxford.
Ancora is a club sponsored by
the Immaculate Conception Program; members of the club pray
for and support the Holy Father and vocations. They have
several conventions each year, which were previously hosted at Immaculate
Conception Academy in Rhode Island. This was the first convention
since the program moved to Michigan, and for many families,
the more central location made travel easier, resulting in an
even better turnout than expected!
The convention was divided into 3
groups – high school, middle school, and 5th-6th grade –
with several teams in each group. They had conferences and
activities to learn about their faith, as well as the
chance to spread the faith through apostolic outreach.
The 5th and
6th graders visited the Dominican motherhouse in Oxford to sing
for the nuns and have a question and answer session
with them. The afternoon was a hit for the both
the girls and the sisters! All of the girls had
questions about the sisters’ religious life, and the sisters loved
sharing their stories and experiences.
The older girls visited an abortion
clinic to pray and join in the Archdiocese of Detroit’s
40 Days for Life campaign, which kicked off on Ash
Wednesday. Afterwards, they did a ‘Mall Mission,’ asking people questions
about the meaning of life and what makes them truly
Many of the girls agreed that the highlight of the
convention was the Eucharistic procession on Sunday. Each group built
an altar at a different location in the retreat center,
and each team wrote a short prayer to read at
their altar. Fr. Christopher O’Connor LC led the procession, stopping
for benediction at each altar and in the chapel, where
they began all-night adoration.
“I loved seeing how much the girls
enjoyed the Eucharistic procession,” said Bethany Martens, a freshman in
the Immaculate Conception program. “Several girls told me that they’d
like to do that again!”
All of the Immaculate Conception girls were
thrilled with the positive response to their first convention in
“I felt like I was really
able to connect with the girls,” said sophomore Sara Rembold.
“I built a relationship with them, and I was able
to transmit Christ to them.”