Padre Paul’s Ponderings: The Great Saint Joe’s Get Together

Padre Paul’s Ponderings: The Great Saint Joe’s Get Together

The Great Saint Joe’s Get Together

As a lifelong Minnesotan, one of the things that I do every year without thinking about it is to go to the State Fair. It was a part of my childhood, and I continued it through adulthood, sometimes even going alone. There’s the sights and the food, there’s the 4H projects and literature you put in a bag, the people watching, and the political stuff. This year I met up with a friend after spending the front part of the day by myself, and hit the basic food groups; the Dairy Building, the Foot Long Hot Dog Stand, the Mouth Trap Cheese Curds stand and the wonderful creation of Italian Beef and Mozzarella with marinara sauce which I believe comes from Iowa. Only 11 months to go and I’ll be back, but who is counting?

We don’t have the State Fair this weekend, but we do have the great Saint Joe’s Get Together, our Harvest Festival. Jordan Ecker, our director of Engagement and Communications, has been working very hard for months with a group of volunteers planning and getting things ready.

This year we’ll be having the celebration this Saturday. Family Fun starts at 2 pm and our main event is at 6 pm., with a chicken dinner, bingo, and a DJ Glow Dance. Some of the family events included pumpkin painting, a punch wall, wine pull and silent auction. So if you are reading this on Saturday, you’re on your way to the festival; if on Sunday, hopefully you have had a great time and are on your way home to watch the Vikings beat the Chiefs later today (hey anything is possible). 

It’s been a real labor of love from Jordan and a number of volunteers who’ve been working so hard. But the best thing about the Harvest Festival is the people. Community is so important, and it was great to have a festival last year with good turnout. People get the chance to sit down and talk, to connect more deeply, have some fun at Bingo and have their kids meet their neighbor’s kids, and have a relaxing, great time. Unlike the State Fair where it’s hard to talk to folks you don’t know, at our festival people really get the chance to get to know one another even better; it’s something you see after our Masses too. Saint Joe’s isn’t a parish where people shuffle in and out quickly; it’s, as one parishioner put it, a “small town” kind of feeling, and I’ve felt so welcomed here now as I come up on 9 years next year. After every Mass, it’s so great to see so many people huddle in the narthex and spend some time catching up rather than quickly running out to their cars.

A heartfelt thanks to Jordan and our staff and our many volunteers for their incredibly hard work in preparing it, and thank you for your support of the festival.

Have a great week!

Fr. Paul

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October 2023


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