A simple plan: win the contest, then throw a party


Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

dancers-webTheresa Del Guidice dances with Jack Smith during an afternoon celebration for senior citizens sponsored by the youth group of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Haddon Heights, on Sunday, Oct. 9.

The St. Rose of Lima Parish Youth Group in Haddon Heights wanted to honor senior citizens for their lifelong witness to the Catholic faith.

Of course, celebrations cost money. So, the group entered a Faith and Family Choir Competition sponsored by the Camden Riversharks last June, hoping to win the $500 grand prize.

They won.

Consequently, on Sunday, Oct. 9, they threw a party and treated area seniors to an afternoon of Italian dining, desserts, entertainment and dancing instruction.

About 30 youth group members joined 100 senior citizens in the St. Rose cafeteria, from 2-5 p.m, for the “Con Amore” afternoon. After Father Joseph Byerley, pastor, gave the dinner blessing, Italian foods were served, and entertainment was provided by the Hotsy Totsy live band.

Waltzing lessons were given to youth and seniors who, in addition to tearing up the dance floor, shared stories and conversation.

The youth group held the event for the senior citizens, grandparents and friends among them, to thank them for being “instrumental in (the youths’) faith,” remarked Annie Carolfi, coordinator of Youth Ministry for the parish.

The St. Rose youth group dedicated this year to the faithfulness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a picture of Jesus was placed at each table.

The goal of the celebration, Carolfi said, was to make visible the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and have the youth imitate Jesus’ intimate kindness and compassion, in their communication with the senior citizens.

She was also heartened to see the senior citizens and the youth, the church’s present and future, come together in a fun-filled day.

“They really shared God’s love” with each other, she said.