My Dear Friends,
For the last three years, this last weekend in June was dedicated to our annual Padre Pio Festival. In case you missed the announcements, after careful consideration of many aspects of both this festival and our annual Parish Picnic, we have decided to combine the two events. The Padre Pio Festival weekend, which it is now being called (which will include the Parish Picnic on Saturday instead of Sunday), will be celebrated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 14, 15, 16, 2018.
What helped to lead us to this decision? Over the past few years, attendance at the Parish Picnic has declined somewhat. Yet at the same time, it remains a cherished part of our parish’s community life. Committee members felt that we should move the picnic to Saturday, which might encourage younger families to come, since the next day would not be a school day.
Another consideration was the price of admission, which many thought should be lowered to make it more affordable for large families. So this year the picnic admission ticket will still include all the buffet food we are used to enjoying, as well as soft beverages, entertainment and many activities for our children. However, beer and some amusement rides if we get them, etc. will be a la carte. The ticket price will be lowered, but that amount is still to be determined. The picnic will run from Noon to 5pm on Saturday.
The big costs connected with the picnic, especially the tents, will now be shared with the festival. Moving the festival to September helps to encourage more of our young families to attend, since late June was a time for them to head for the shore, especially for the many sports tournaments held there each year. But also, the move brings the festival closer to the Feast of Padre Pio, which is actually celebrated on September 23. In fact, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Padre Pio’s stigmata (his daily sharing in the wounds of Christ), and the 50th anniversary of his death, or entry into heaven.
Friday night Sept. 14 opens the Padre Pio Festival weekend with a special event for teens and young adults. A well-known speaker is being sought for this occasion, and the night will include a youth Holy Hour and social activities. On Saturday night Sept. 15, the Vigil Mass will include the blessing with the relics of Padre Pio. The festival will resume that night with a la carte food items, sold by our Knights of Columbus and other food vendors. The highlight of the evening will be a special free community concert by “Lights Out”, a nationally known Four Seasons Tribute Band.
On Sunday Sept. 16 we celebrate Padre Pio’s feast day with a 12:30pm Mass, followed by street procession and healing service. We expect many pilgrims to once again join us. Father Keith Chylinski will be our guest homilist. The day will include food truck vendors, especially Maggio’s Restaurant from Southampton, providing a large array of Italian food, and popular entertainment.
For more information, consult our website (www.padrepiofestivalhollandpa.com). Please mark your calendars now for a fabulous weekend that will be celebrated here at St. Bede’s!
May God Bless You,
Reverend Monsignor John C. Marine
Pastor, St. Bede the Venerable Church