Parishioners at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, celebrated the children-grabbing-waters30th anniversary of the dedication of their church, the old fashioned way: at the parish picnic.

But this was not your grandmother’s parish picnic. With a parish that has more than 6,000 registered families, any kind of activity draws a crowd, and the outdoor Mass, followed by a picnic lunch, games and a raffle, drew just that.

It took place once again at the sprawling Mission Hills Park, which is nestled in the McCullough Mountain foothills, and drew more than 1,000 people.

Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, center left, celebrates Mass

Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, center left, celebrates Mass

“The goal of the picnic is to build community for our parish,” said Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, pastor. “It’s an annual event that enriches the spirit of our community. In addition, it’s great fun!”

The collaborative effort included help from the Men’s Club, Women’s Guild, Couples’ Club, Parents for Life, More Youth and Life Teen clubs, as well as confirmation students, who all pitched in to lead various games and activities.balloon-artist

Beyond building a tradition within the parish, the annual outdoor Mass and picnic seem to bear out a central mission of the Viatorians, which is to build up communities of faith.