I think it is more than usually appropriate who we dedicated this year’s SeptemberFest to: Deacon Kevin Moore. Deacons are ordained as a sacramental sign to the Church and to the world of Christ who came "to serve and not to be served." The entire Church is called by Christ to serve, and the Deacon, in virtue of his sacramental ordination and through his various ministries, is to be a servant in a servant-Church.
In other words, a Deacon is someone who dedicates his life to serving the people of God in the particular Parish assigned to him. He is to be an active and visible symbol of the Church’s pivotal role to provide charitable service to others. One of the ways that Deacon Kevin so valiantly did this was through his Off the Streets Ministry: helping to provide assistance for those in need, looking for places to live or items one otherwise could not afford to improve one’s living conditions. To ensure the success of the ministry, Deacon Kevin and his team would often have to raise money.
It was and is within this same Christ-like Spirit of serving others, that we had another incredibly successful SeptemberFest fund and spirit raising event. Not so much because of the money raised but more so because of those who put together this Carnival; not only ensure that money would be raised, but the spirits of those attending would be raised Heaven Sky high with joy because of the tremendous service of themselves they provided.
This service began in earnest months prior to the Festival. The Man/Woman Power that is required to pull of this kind of Carnival is extensive. And we had that power in place like a Nuclear Power Plant of joy all weekend long by way of the many generous volunteers who offered more than just their time, they offered and showed their kindness of heart and willingness to be servants in a servant Church.
At the Volunteer Mass, I referenced the Cross that emerged from the wreckage of 9-11 and eventually from that spot how there would emerge the Freedom Tower and beautiful Memorial and tribute to those who lost their lives…to first responders…and many involved whose efforts helped save lives and clean up the area…making it ready for its great renewal.
There is no more visible nor more powerful sign of serving and service than the Cross of Christ; it is where we as Christians draw our strength in order to be the generous self-sacrificing and serving people we are meant to be…not so much works in progress as Saints in Progress.
For SeptemberFest we had an entire team of strong Cross-carriers providing the absolute best possible service to ensure that from the wreckage of so much bad news in the world and worse within the Church…that such a glorious weekend of SeptemberFesting would emerge…whose momentum as a Parish we must commit to all year round…beginning with each Sunday here on out. We need your fighting, serving and charitable spirits to keep this Parish thriving…families thriving…the culture properly engaged.
As wonderful as it is to conduct a Church Carnival the emphasis has to remain on Church…secondarily as an institution and primarily as an extended Family of the amazing SeptemberFest coordinators, patrons, volunteers, laborers and visitors that make this Carnival better and better each year. That same kind of dedication and devotion invested in the Church all year will guarantee not only the continued success of the Carnival each year but the continued and ever growing vibrancy of this Parish. This vibrancy will make its presence most felt in the people and families of this Parish wherever they happen to go and whoever they happen to be meet starting at home, where of course charity and service begin.
Having spoken to so many people who were just gushing about how phenomenal the Carnival was, I could not be more proud and yes still in awe as I write this thank-you of the effort put into it...and despite the fatigue, the being overwhelmed by orders, the sweating, the heat, the aching muscles and bones…never once allowing that smile to leave one’s face in serving others. Thank you again and again, and may God continue to bless all of you.
Fr. Peter Cipriani