Monday, June 15, 2015

The 36th Annual Family Carnival is here!!

I was honored last night to “light the midway” at our 36th Annual Family Carnival! Thank you to Jerry Madaio and the Carnival Committee and Mary Theresa Weil and the Carnival Sponsorship team for all the work they did all year to prepare for this week. I’ve discovered that the Carnival is such a big event that it requires year long preparation! I also thank all the volunteers from our parish community who will help us this week.

I am learning that the Carnival here at St. Gregory’s is not just a fundraiser for our school. It is also a cultural event that people throughout the area look forward to. I extend a welcome not only to the guests who will come on our grounds but also to the workers who are visiting us this week.   

It is funny how certain life experiences prepare you in a way that you could never imagine.  The summer between my graduation from high school and college I worked at carnivals in northern New Jersey. I worked for a family in town at their travelling company Robart Amusements.

I got to know the family I worked for very well and was like another son to them that summer.  I stayed overnight with them in a trailer one night for goodness’ sake!  The bunk bed I slept in was like a sardine can.  I am very thankful for having experienced carnival life.  I never could have imagined at that time in 1997 that one day I would be the pastor of a parish that hosted a very large carnival.  

I will never forget a man I met at a carnival in Flemington, New Jersey.  I started to talk with him and told him I was considering priesthood.  I confided in him that I was having a hard time embracing it.  He responded to me: “Why don’t you let it embrace you?” He helped me continue on the journey toward priesthood.

May you and your families enjoy this week --- and always realize that God can speak to you in the most unlikeliest of places!  Enjoy the Carnival.

1 comment:

  1. "why don't you let it embrace you?" What a beautiful reflection on that early part of your journey toward the holy priesthood. Thank you for sharing, Father!

    As a parishioner, I am more than grateful for your vocation, your dedication, and service to us. It is an honor that you are our pastor!