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Blessing of the Backpacks starts off school year



By Darragh Doiron

The News staff writer

PORT NECHES — Besides books and pencils, the Davis sisters are packing some faith in their backpacks this school year.

Emily and Katie gathered in a circle with Emma Bodden and Sue Ellen Bass at the Blessing of the Backpacks booth on Saturday. Balloons, popcorn and this blessing booth was part of the Providence Church of Port Author back-to-school party at Port Neches Park Pavilion.

Bodden and Bass spent the morning joining hands with students who approached the booth and prayed over backpacks dropped in the center of the circle. They said they prayed the Davis sisters would grow to be “strong women of God.”

Katie, 10, will be hauling her purple and white camouflage backpack to Port Neches Elementary. She said she steered her prayers toward math and science as well.

Emily, 13, said her first few days at Port Neches Middle School have already been busy.

Clay Faulk, Providence Church pastor, said the back-to-school party was a small event this past year, but the congregation decided to invite the community this time around.

The sunny day drew visitors out to watch the river traffic at the park and children seeking shade gathered for all manner of games and face painting. Brenda Theriot managed a tiny, inflatable pool just big enough for a Chihuahua to spin around in. It was filled with ice cubes and colorful chunks of plastic that children fished out with their bare feet.

“The kids say this game is cool,” Theriot said, pun intended.

ddoiron@panews.com