Was that a great weekend, or what? Whether you ran in Becca’s Run, polkaed at Oktoberfest, or got your face painted at the Fall Festival, you were having a great time when I saw you. Some did all three – and had three times the fun!
We had many guests for all the events last weekend, and all of them got to see what gives Saint Bernadette her distinctive character: her people. The warmth and joy that everyone showed sent the clear signal that this is community centered on Christ, reaching out in love.
Literally several hundred folks worked to make all the activities so much fun, and such a smooth success. All freely give of their time and talent to make these things happen, and each year the logistics get more complex, and the events more impressive. Each event has its standard-bearer too, taking the lead and putting in the extra work to make it happen. Amy Langevin coordinates with the Lilly family to drive Becca’s Run; Peter and Mary Zaudtke have the secret of bringing Bavaria to the ball field for Oktoberfest. And Mindy Sippel pulls together an amazing array to make the Fall Festival just so delightful.
My thanks and yours go to them, and to all the folks who took the time to take a turn and help it happen. To see how well and how generously everyone worked together is an inspiration.
It is a beautiful time of year to be here at Saint Bernadette. Maybe because I live here, wake up here every morning and go to bed here every night, I see the details of the parish more intensely than you can. But can you miss the spire outlined by the low autumnal light against the bright clear sky with its scudding Canadian clouds, coming to bring that cooler air our way? How the recent rains have once again made green the grass that had parched over the late summer drought? How the top of the first tree to change out along the back parking lot has long since started, and now here and there a burst of color is emerging?
The kids are used to being back at school, and come and go with the conviction that each day they are making progress in knowledge and understanding (would that we adults could say the same). The air carries more clearly the noise of the teams practicing and playing on the field, and the silence of a Sunday afternoon once the Mass goers have gone.
The slender crowds of summer are a distant memory as the church fills again each week, and the choirs lead the voices in proclaiming the glory of God. His love is revealed as we walk once more through the works and words of Christ, reminded of all He is doing so that we know His salvation. Truth, goodness, and beauty all conspire to reveal our source and our destination.
Speaking of numbers, you may notice people moving about the church with clipboards during Mass, usually during the homily. No, they’re not writing down who isn’t paying attention – they are counting heads. As regular as the change of leaves, it is the October Count, when every parish in the Archdiocese counts every soul who attends Sunday Mass each weekend this month. It helps us know how many folks love the festival, enjoy the beer, or can complete the run…. but know where to find what we are really about: God become Man and offered to us in His flesh, in the Holy Eucharist. Truth, goodness, and beauty you can touch and taste, the heart of every great weekend.