FOUNDER’S DAY CELEBRATIONS from the 2010 OMG

Each year the Chapters of the National Christ Child Society are requested to set aside a special
event to honor the founder of the Society, Mary Virginia Merrick, and to recognize the history of
the Christ Child Society.  Chapters may choose to celebrate the event in a way they feel is fitting.
The selected event should bring together Chapter members, prospective members and friends to
celebrate the wonderful achievements of the Society. Ideas for a Chapter celebration are listed
below.  Chapters that have developed a similar or unique celebration in their Chapter are
encouraged to share the event or idea with the National Office.
 
Traditionally each Chapter of NCCS is asked to hold a Mass on or around March 25.   Mary
Virginia Merrick established this date to honor the Annunciation of our Lord - the Christ Child -
Founder of the Christ Child Society.  The National President arranges for a Mass to be offered
for the intentions of all members. This is a beautiful way to honor the vision of Mary Virginia
Merrick, the founder of NCCS.  
 
Traditionally the necrology, the list of deceased Chapter members of the preceding year is read at
any Founder's Day function.
 
Today, Chapters often plan a Founder's Day Mass in the spring, at a time and place convenient
for the entire Chapter to gather. This is a provides an opportunity to invite the Bishop of the
Chapter’s Diocese, or his selected representative, to celebrate the Mass and encourage him to
learn more about the Chapter(s) within his diocese. The Liturgy may celebrate the presence of
the Christ Child Society in a Chapter city. Offertory gifts might include a layette or some other
symbol of the Chapter's gifts to its community.
 
Prayers of the Faithful can invoke God's blessings on the Chapter's members, the children served
and benefactors of the Chapter. Members can participate as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar
servers, song-leaders or musicians when agreed upon with the presider.   
 
Chapters may have a special ceremony after Mass to welcome new members. The Bishop or
presider may present membership pins to new members to welcome them into active service in
the community. For those Chapters who have a Provisional year of membership, this could be
the formal ceremony to receive members.
 
Chapters may use this event to hold a social function along with the Mass.  Inviting members
who are no longer active in the Chapter, but who might have played key roles in the Chapter's
past will help them reconnect to the current activities of the Chapter. The Chapter may consider
sending them a special invitation.  
 
Christ Child Society memberships recognizing 5, 10, 15, etc. years of service could also be
celebrated. A simple announcement of these anniversaries may be made.  Members should be
notified ahead of time that they will be honored, perhaps with a special invitation including an
RSVP or a phone call.

The celebration of Founder’s Day is a marvelous opportunity to tell the story of Mary Virginia
Merrick, recently declared a Servant of God. It could be an ideal time to invite persons and/or
agencies who receive benefits from the local Chapter to come and share in the celebration.
Hospital social workers that distribute layettes might enjoy meeting members and hearing the
story of the Chapter. School district personnel or principals who refer children in need for
clothing or tutoring might like to meet the members who work to help their students. Local
government officials could be included with resolutions from the City Council or the Mayor’s
office declaring CCS Day in honor of the Chapter’s contributions to the community.  A planning
committee for Founder’s Day will find a wealth of possibilities for such a celebration.  
 
Founder's Day may also be an opportunity for a Chapter’s annual meeting. For those Chapters
that elect new officers in the spring this could also be a possible time for an installation of new
officers. It highlights the continuity of the organization with longstanding members who have
served as board members and those now taking up the responsibilities of continuing the good
works of the Chapter.
 
For some Chapters, Founder's Day is linked to honoring a community member who has
performed outstanding service to children and the continued vision of Mary Virginia Merrick.
This can provide an opportunity to inform the larger community about the work of the local
Christ Child Society Chapter and to share the affiliation with NCCS. 

OMG - Anniversary Celebrations                                                               

OMG - Installation of New Members and Chapter Officers                  

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