All this week, I’ve been busy calling people. Thank you to everyone who’s answered my calls so far and agreed to be in the drawing for parish council. I’m happy to say that we had 28 people nominated, and it really is a very nice cross-section of our parish. The ages ranged from around 19 to 80, with men, women, people from pretty much all of the former parishes, younger people with kids, retired folks, and folks from all sorts of different backgrounds. I’m very excited to get things together and I do think it will be a nice group. It’s taking me quite a while to get everyone called, so I’m looking at drawing the names on November 1st.
As I said before, there will be 6 names drawn, and 4 appointed to make sure we have nice representation, and 1 youth representative. I’m very much looking forward to having a stable group of parishioners to help in our decision-making and planning here at Prince of Peace.
Meanwhile, we’ve been very busy up in the garage! I want to thank the Knights of Columbus for a generous donation toward the purchase of power tools for John. We’re setting up his workspace in the garage and it really feels good to be getting things cleaned up & functioning. We’ve been testing a lot of older appliances that had been used for the festivals in the past, moving them around, getting rid of what doesn’t work, and getting what does work into more useful places.
We’re also getting into high-gear for our Turkey Dinner. Every day we’re seeing a few more baskets come in. All the surfaces in both kitchens have been professionally cleaned. I’d like to thank everyone who helped Saturday morning with beginning to clean the hall and move around some things. It’s been a while since we’ve given it a good cleaning, and especially with everything going on with COVID, I wanted to make sure that we had everything nice and clean for the dinner. For those who weren’t able to join us Saturday morning, the reason we’re having two times was that we moved all the tables in the hall to one side to scrub the floor, the next time, after it’s dry, we’ve got to put them on the other side to catch the other side.
Please also check out the upcoming cleaning and work schedule for preparing the Turkey Dinner. We’d certainly love to have your help. I know after my first experience with dinners here, I was so very impressed with how many people turned out to help us prepare these wonderful meals. I know so many of us are anxious to get out to do things, and with our nice clean working areas in the hall, I’m looking forward to seeing and talking to all of you as we prepare for our big dinner.
For the dinner itself, please check out on page 5 in of this bulletin and tell everyone you know! We’ve posted a Facebook event on our page so for those of you who are on Facebook, please help us get the word out and share it. Please also make sure to tell all your friends that the dinner is on, it’ll be all drive-through or take-out, and that we have additional times to look at the baskets for those who want to avoid the crowds.
Finally, as I’m sure we’re all aware, the election is coming up in a little more than a week. Please make sure to vote. As a Church, as a rule, we don’t officially endorse any candidates, it’s been that way for generations and for good reason. The Church teaches about moral issues. Certainly some issues, like the Right to Life, are more important than other issues, but at some level, no matter what the election, no matter what the situation, there are not perfect candidates, so rather than play the game and be seen as endorsing views that the Catholic Church doesn’t teach, the Church simply speaks about what we believe as Catholics, believing that all of you are smart enough to look at where the candidates stand on what we believe and make your own decisions helping to protect our ability to live according to our faith, and to share the goodness of Jesus and His Gospel with the world.
I know a lot of emphasis is on the presidential election right now and it’s dominating everything, but I’d encourage you to read the voter guides, realize that as important as the presidential election is, it’s not the only election going on next week. Please take some time to read up on ALL the candidates for all the various offices you’ll be voting for and know where they stand with regard to what we believe. With that in mind, I’ll be posting our Diocesan Voter Guide on the parish website. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard quite a bit already about the presidential race, but please read up on the others ones. It’s so important that we not just vote, but that we know just who and what we’re voting for. One of our parishioners passed on a prayer for the election, I found it worth sharing. It’s at the back inside cover of the bulletin, right after the music. Please remember that no matter what, we need to continue to pray for our nation.
Finally, next Sunday is All Saints Day, which means Monday, November 2nd will be All Souls Day. Due to some COVID restrictions, I won’t be heading to the Prison on Monday for All Souls Day. That means we’ll be able to have a 6:30pm Mass at the Church. At that mass, we’ll remember in a special way all those who have passed in this previous year and light a candle in their memory. As we were only just starting to get things in order this time last November, I apologize in advance if I miss any names of people from our parish who passed in the last year. We should have the names in next week’s bulletin, so if I miss someone, please give us a call before Monday’s Mass.
Please also remember your All Souls Day envelopes next weekend. They have a space for additional names. Please be sure to mark on them any other souls you’d like to pray for during the Month of November. After they’re counted, we’ll place those envelopes in a basket by the altar all month.
I hope all of you have a wonderful week, and I hope to see many of you this week as we get our hall cleaned up and begin to get ready to cook those Turkeys!
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.