"Thanks be to God and to you, dear Faithful of the IHM Oratory, for a wonderful picnic. It had been quite warm during the week, but on the day of the picnic the weather was almost perfect with a fresh, cool breeze and a clear blue sky. Over 120 people came to the picnic, and it was really a joyful time we shared under the mantle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Thanks be to the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe!"—Canon Raphael Ueda

Report from a Member of the Oratory

By Mrs. Judith Garton-Zavesky

"Picture a sunny, warm, breezy day without a cloud in the sky. Picture a wide span of green grass with stands of trees separating ball fields and roads from the grass, in California. If you can picture all of this, you have the setting for the third annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory Picnic.

"Supplies for the picnic started arriving at 8:30 in the morning: paper plates, water, ice, thermos jugs. All are so important to the meal of hot dogs supplied by the Oratory and sides provided by the parishioners. Somewhere around 10 a.m., extra chairs and tables arrived, along with more shade courtesy of a man made canopy. Closer to 11 a.m., the all important hot dogs and their charcoal arrived. Canon Ueda also arrived then, with the supplies for the 'Olympic Games.' It can be hard to say which is the more important draw for the children: the games or the jump house. The jump house, with slide, was late. Many adults feared that the children would be disappointed by its absence, but it finally arrived, and the adults were relieved.

"After a brief greeting period, Canon Ueda blessed the food, so all could eat lunch. The hot dogs and sausages vanished. The sides were shared and enjoyed by all. Who knew there were so many good cooks? If you looked out, you would see groups of people all enjoying each others’ company and the food. People who had seen each other only at Mass were able to talk to each other now, and start making the friendships which make a parish a family. This was only the calm before the competition.

DSC04203DSC04253 2

"All ages were invited to join a team and take part in the 'Olympic Games.' Three- legged races, water balloon toss, egg on spoon race, and tug of war were only parts of the competition. Off the big field there was competition of a cerebral kind. The multiple choice quiz on Our Lady of Guadalupe was testing the knowledge of all ages.



DSC04296"The games over and winners announced, it was time for ice cream, and then cake. Those with birthdays in August were given a special blessing, as has been our custom. Almost forgotten was the singing of 'Happy Birthday,' but someone remembered in time, and we sang.

"All good things must come to an end. As the gentleman came to take away the jump house, all gathered in a great semi-circle to pray the Rosary. What better end to a day can there be than to see young and old all praying together?"

DSC04305 CopyDSC04310 2