Hosting a day of faith-oriented family fun has long been a goal of Arise Milwaukee. Not only are many of the individuals originally involved in the organization’s founding now themselves moms and dads with young kids, but Arise Milwaukee Executive Director Brian Magliocco said there seems to be an underlying need throughout the Catholic community for events that combine elements of evangelization with family bonding.
“We’ve been feeling called to do something more for families, to really serve families and help bring young families and their children together,” said Magliocco.
And, as the world slowly comes back to life after a year of pandemic protocols, there seemed to be no better time than this summer for the first-ever Arise Family Day. “People are longing for community; they are longing for prayer and fellowship,” said Magliocco.
Arise Family Day will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, at Menomonee Falls Village Park, N87W16749 Garfield Drive in Menomonee Falls. Organizers are planning for it to be an afternoon of carefree diversion and fellowship in an environment imbued with faith. For inspiration, Arise Milwaukee has looked to the Nazareth Family Day, a popular event that used to be held annually at Holy Hill. Activities will include a bounce house and magic show, face painting, balloon animals, snacks and yard games for all ages, plus a blessing from Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki and the chance to mingle with priests, religious, deacons and seminarians from all over the archdiocese.
It will be, said Magliocco, an afternoon to relax and have fun, but “with an Arise Milwaukee flair” — that is, with the goal of encountering and falling more in love with Christ through His Church.
The Archbishop will kick off the event at 3:30 p.m. with a blessing and a short talk on St. Joseph, and will stay afterward to meet and mingle with families. “The kids are going to have the chance to get a passport of sorts and go around to find the answers to questions, kind of like a scavenger hunt,” said Magliocco. “They’ll have a chance to meet the archbishop (and) ask him a question, and they’ll get a chance to meet some sisters, priests and religious from around the area. It’s that element of meeting Christ — meeting the Church — but doing it in a fun way.”
Registration for the event is $20 per family and includes all activities. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy in the park after the event’s conclusion, or to order out from one of the many downtown Menomonee Falls restaurants within walking distance (a list is available on the Arise Milwaukee website).
After the Family Day, Arise Saturday Night will take place, also in Village Park, with Eucharistic
Adoration, Confession and the Arise Worship Band from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This is a separate, free event for all ages with no registration required, said Magliocco, but families are welcome to stay and participate. “We’re going to try to make it more of a family edition of Arise Saturday Night — we’ll have a shorter talk than we would normally have, and we’re going to try to keep things moving quicker so people with younger kids will feel comfortable staying or going whenever they have to,” he said.
For more information and to register, visit arisemke.org/family-day.