From time immemorial, feasts, fests, festivals and carnivals have served various purposes in just about every community and culture in the world.
The time of a festival promises so many good things for young and old — food, music, games the gathering of old and new friends and family reunions.
A good festival can serve to provide much fun and make weary folks glad in many ways.
The recent Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament feast continued a tradition decades in the making — without a doubt one of the oldest honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the United States. Really, in the jargon of the Catholic church a feast means the commemoration or celebration on a Holy Day or special saint’s day.We all know, however, the parish feast here brought with it all those glad and welcomed additions, great food, excellent music offerings, reunions for families and the catching up with old friends and neighbors, most of it with an Italian touch.
Some very reflective and deep spiritual persons have even suggested that the happy gathering of many people on the grounds of a faith-sponsored festival is a glimpse of what it will be like to be gathered at the banquet table of God’s Kingdom. The only difference might be that in Heaven there will be no long line and wait for pizza fritta — of course, that wait is when people do their catching up with the news of their lives.
Our long-standing and popular feast would not even be possible without the many devoted volunteers of all ages. The feast is such an important fundraiser to support the parish activities, upkeep of the beautiful structures and our pledges for Catholic education.
So many hours, labor and generous hearts go into the success of the feast. Many thanks to the friends and families who attended, volunteers who lent a hand, especially with the food preparations, and the set up and tear down.
Here’s hoping a new generation — those in their 20s, 30s and 40s — will step up next year into “learning the ropes” and continue the long tradition so the festival will be part of our parish’s future. The 2024 festival is up to you.