By Ottrisha Carter
The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) in collaboration with the Catholic Youth Commission (CYC) and the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) hosted its first Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, April 2, World Day of Autism Awareness. The theme for this event was Family Love: A Vocation and Path to Holiness.
The day’s activities were centred on Chapter 9 of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia ‘The Spirituality of Marriage and the Family’ (245–256) as the Church continues to celebrate the Year of the Amoris Laetitia family.
Pope Francis reminds that “The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all those domestic churches.”
Twenty-five families journeyed together on the scavenger hunt. Parents, grandparents, children, nieces, nephews, youths, and young adults made up a total of 100 participants.
Participants visited secret locations such as churches in Mon Repos, Carapichaima and St Joseph, and national sites like the Temple in the Sea, the Caroni Bird Sanctuary entrance, and the Mt Hope Hospital. At these locations, they were given clues and they had the opportunity to participate in a few interesting activities.
According to one participant, “We experienced a gamut of emotions … from utter frustration to pure excitement and relief when clues were solved, and we persevered. The persons who greeted us at the different locations were pleasant and helpful … much thanks to them too. They ministered to us.”
As families worked together and enjoyed themselves, they were also invited to participate in a form of street evangelisation. Families had the task to hand out copies of three of Matthew Kelly’s books – Amazing Possibilities – 365 Days of Inspiration, Perfectly Yourself and Seven levels of Intimacy – to people they encountered on the streets.
One participant expressed, “The evangelisation activity at Freeport Junction was a fantastic experience and it was personally the highlight of my day. I would like to suggest that this activity form a part of any future scavenger hunts. Persons were receptive and grateful.”
Another participant stated, “… the evangelising felt strange on the street, but it was welcomed by the recipients. They were also shocked to hear that we were Catholics. It was fun though. Someone wanted to give me a donation!”
One family shared the valuable lessons that they learnt from participating in this experience. “We were very doubtful, but we stepped out in faith (with help … encouragement). The search was not easy, but courage made us stay the course. We stressed each other out but patience took precedence. We were confused during the course but collaboration with other families kept us … (we were not alone). A whole lot more can be said but … it was an amazing experience, …”
Another family explained, “…We had fun and loved the activities…and how it called us to prayer and dialogue. Praying this will be an annual event. Awesome work by [the] coordinating team. May God continue to bless you all in [the] AFLC as you continue to help us be[come] better families.”
One participant expressed gratitude to the AFLC saying: “Thank you AFLC for the opportunity. My family and I had lots of fun and really enjoyed every moment of it. Can’t wait for one during the July/August vacation.”
Couples for Christ and Teams of Our Lady contributed to the successful hunt. Some prizes were donated by Xtra Foods, Massy Stores and CAMSEL. For photos, visit aflcrc.org