Last week I thanked everyone—committee, volunteers, school community, parishioners, city folks, etc.—for making our festival possible.  This week it is imperative that I once again thank everyone; this time, for making the event a terrific success.  In spite of the rain!   A    famous writer once wrote: “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.” Well, it sure knew how to fall downwards!  Yet it didn’t dampen spirits and I didn’t sense any anger, nor did it even cut down on the crowd all that much. Actually, folks seemed to be enjoying the more intimate feel of being squeezed into the pavilion.  I honor the committee for making some big decisions, e.g., canceling the bands on Saturday and Sunday—they would simply have been too loud under the pavilion, as we discovered Friday night.  Unfortunately, the rides couldn’t run; yet that didn’t seem to discourage the children, for they ran around inside the pavilion and many went out onto the blacktop and splashed in the rain and had a grand time. Actually, the rides not running may have contributed to the steady long lines of children waiting to have their faces lovingly painted by Sr. Ann!  


            This weekend at the 10:30 a.m. Mass we will be formally installing our new Pastoral Council Members Don Middendorf, Walt Moeller and Kevin Strotman. They attended their first meeting in August. Judging from the interaction at that meeting, I am confident that they will serve us all very well.  They and the other members of the Council have been asked to wear their identifying small red name tags at Masses and other parish events.  I hope you will feel free to talk with them about any concerns for the parish you may have. Here’s how the Pastoral Council Constitution describes their role:  they are charged with “prayerfully discerning parish needs, setting pastoral priorities, and empowering parishioners to participate in the mission of Christ . . . Together with the Pastor and the parish staff (the council) charts the future of the parish.”  The Constitution also gives the Pastor the prerogative of appointing up to three additional members to the Council to help insure that the diversity of the parish is represented and to provide special “gifts or talents.” I will be exercising that prerogative.


            Now we prepare to celebrate the glorious feast of St. Francis!


            This Sunday, the Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday with the theme "Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ."  At the 10:30 a.m. Mass, prior to the Final Blessing, there will be a special blessing for all in our parish community who serve as “teachers” of the faith.  Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. What an awesome privilege has been given to us!  Thanks for YOUR example as a witness of the Gospel!