We love St. Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to share two ideas to celebrate this fun day.
1. I borrowed this first idea from my friend Sonia. She calls it a HEART ATTACK! You can do this with your family or you can do this with a group of children. We chose to have a group of girls come over and make Valentine hearts for the Oblates Sisters of St. Francis de Sales who teach at our local Catholic School (Claire was attending this school at that time). I had red, white, and pink paper, heart stickers, cross stickers, markers, glitter, glue, and scissors for the girls to make the hearts.
Each girl had previously made Valentine cookies or cupcakes at home, and along with the cards and treats, we packed into two vehicles and surprised the sisters at their home. When they opened the door we said, “this is a HEART ATTACK!” One important note is that this was not a total surprise. I had arranged the HEART ATTACK with one of the sisters ahead of time and she made sure that all the sisters were present. She also told me how many sisters would be at the house so that we made enough Valentines and treats for each sister. I did tell her that it was a surprise so she would not mention it to the other sisters.The sisters loved it and so did the girls! It was great fun!
You could do this for your church office staff or your priests. You might want to call ahead and talk to at least one person to ensure that everyone is present at the church office or wherever you are going. Remember to let that person know it is a surprise! It is a good way to show appreciation for all the wonderful things they do for all of us as the Body of Christ.
2. Another idea is what I call “Valentines for Seminarians”. You can do this with your family or with a group of children. We chose to do this with a group of children at our house (both of these activities could be done with younger or older children).
We began our group activity by praying the rosary for all our diocesan seminarians and their intentions. We thanked God for their openness to follow His will, and asked Him to give them the grace and strength needed during their time of discernment in seminary.
After we prayed, we begin to make Valentines for them. We used the same materials as we used in the HEART ATTACK activity and we also wrote a note on the Valentine to each seminarian. We told them we had just prayed a rosary for them and that we would continue to pray for them. We also wished them a Happy St. Valentine’s Day.
I called the Vocations Office for our diocese ahead of time and asked if I could get a list of all our seminarians and their addresses while in seminary. The lady I talked with said that was available and she e-mailed it to me. I then gave each child two or three seminarian names. We addressed stamped envelopes for each seminarian and mailed them. After making the Valentines for the seminarians we had Valentine cookies and strawberries. It was great fun!
Some of the children were delighted to receive thank you notes back from the seminarians to whom they sent Valentines.
To do this activity, call your diocese and ask if they will provide you with a list of seminarians and their physical mailing addresses. If they do not provide this information, you could instead do this for your parish priests. Again, it is another way to let them know you are praying for them and that you appreciate their YES to God!
Have a fun and holy St. Valentine’s Day!