Padre Paul’s Pondering: Harvest Festival: A Welcome Return to Fellowship, Community

Padre Paul’s Pondering: Harvest Festival: A Welcome Return to Fellowship, Community

Harvest Festival: A Welcome Return to Fellowship, Community

I don’t watch any regular programs on TV, but do watch a lot of sports.

Typically on a weeknight I’ll have a baseball game on, and after Masses on Sunday fire up the “Red Zone” channel for some football. And though I didn’t make it to a Twins game this season, I also love watching sports in person.

This season one of the great sights and sounds has been the crowd. Watching the games, you no longer see cardboard cutouts. There’s no more fake crowd sounds piped in. You see many people’s faces as well; their cheers and jeers. There’s the boos and collective cheers as the crowd follows every play. What a joy it is to have that back.

I’ve also shared how I’m an introvert; I often like to do things alone, or with close friends or family, from photography or just hanging out with my dog or going for a walk with him. So it might sound strange that I’m talking about big crowds.

I think the last 18 months have reminded us of how connections to one another matter. Doing something online isn’t the same thing as having someone be with you. From our family meals, to sporting events, to as Catholics praying together at Mass, community events matter so much, because we are all connected.

With that in mind, it’s such a delight to have our Harvest Festival make a return this weekend.

On the one hand, it’s an important fundraiser. This year we’re hoping to use the funds to upgrade our AV equipment for live streaming and taping Masses, speakers, weddings and other events.

But even more importantly than that, it’s a time for our parish to come together.

We’ll have a number of fun events; music on Friday pork chops on a stick and a chicken dinner; the wine pull and punch wall, a basket auction, a raffle, kids games and of course the staple at every Catholic festival, Bingo.

All of this is possible thanks to the hard work of our festival committee and hard working staff. A big “thank you” to Rachel Miller, Maureen, Bob, Katie & Bridget Sturm, Carol Pepin, Melissa Tousignant, Lauren Mitrenga, Doris McCarty, Mark Bigelow, Randy Haney, Jane Schmitz, Ann Brown, and many others who are volunteering for the festival and to those who have donated items for the festival. Normally we have a full time position on staff, our director of engagement and communications, who works heavily on the festival; however we’re still trying to fill that position, so the burden has been far greater this year. Yet no one has complained, rather people have stepped up to make our festival possible.

As a sports fan, a bit part of the enjoyment of the festival is just talking to people and seeing the smiling faces as people come together. We’ve missed so much of this. What a joy it is to see more and more people at Mass, but also to see so many events returning. Thank you for your support of Saint Joe’s and our Harvest Festival, and it will be great to see you this weekend at our Harvest Festival. I hope you enjoy the chicken, win a Bingo game, and hear some great music, but most of all see one another not “virtually” but in person, and have a great time as we come together as a parish family.

God bless and have a great week,

Fr. Paul

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September 2021




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