Thank you to everybody who gave of their time, talent and treasure to make our Mini-Fest last Saturday a success once again! You remember that soon after I arrived in July 2020, I realized there was a desire on the part of many to reinvigorate the St Wendelin festival which we lost with the closing of the high school property, and of course with Covid. I consulted with a number of different groups to get some perspective, and come up with ideas. First of all, could we still accomplish some type of festival? Then, if we could, what would it look like? Various ideas surfaced, and finally things fell into place to indicate this Mini-Fest, held on the date of the Historical Society's Heritage Day. It seems the two events really complement each other, right? We need brats, beer, soda and water while we are looking at beautiful antique cars and the history museums, right? And then there are kids' activities to top it all off! All of the downtown businesses of course are a huge part of the dynamic of the day as well, each adding its own touch to a lively Fostoria Downtown! I think the day is very worthwhile for the fun and fellowship, and for enhancing our positive presence in the community.
Also, as I visited – both in the afternoon, and then in the evening – I actually had a number of evangelistic conversations. For instance, I had one gentleman come up and ask me about my beliefs, i.e., if I believed in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, if I believed that if we repent of our sins, we can go to heaven, etc. When I asked him if he belonged to a church, he said he did not. He has been in jail, and he doesn't want to go to a church, because he believes that no Christian church would accept him, because he has tattoos all over his body. Of course, I spoke to him about how what matters is his character. And, I would hope he would find a welcoming atmosphere at St. Wendelin. I told him to contact the office, so that we can have a long talk. I hope he does. This is just one example of so much faith sharing that I think can happen in a mini-fest atmosphere. I had other conversations as well.
Thank you to the setup and takedown people, to the bratwurst tent volunteers, to those who ran the grand raffle tent, to the beer tent and ticket booth volunteers, to the K of C men who cooked bratwurst and delivered it throughout the day, to the Calvert youth parishioners who added a Pepsi booth, to those who volunteered to run children's activities. Thank you also to the 67 sponsors, including local businesses and individuals! Thank you to our co-chair Matt Emerine, who handled everything having to do with the food for the day along with many other details. Thanks to Tami and Missie in the parish office who handled some of the administration as well.
One of the questions that came up last year, after the first Mini-Fest, was how to add a bit of evangelization, since that is a huge part why the Lord Jesus founded the Church in the first place – to bring the world to Himself! So, we added t-shirts identifying our parishioners, and inviting people back to Mass, even providing the Mass times. I hope at least one soul was encouraged to return Home to Holy Mass, the Source and Summit of our life. I know I had a few conversations along those lines; and I hope you did as well!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,