Submitted by St. Mary on Sun, 08/12/2018 - 9:44am

Dear Parishioners:


   We have all likely heard the expression: “She runs circles around me!”  One definition of this idiom is: to greatly outclass or outperform someone in some activity.


   This photograph, taken during my recent time-away with family in Maine, shows two of my sisters, Tess and Trisha, brother-in-law Terry and I seated on a backyard trampoline.  Literally running circles around us are two of my great-nieces: Meera (daughter of my nephew Jeremy and his spouse, Dora) and Maeve (daughter of my nephew Graham and his spouse, Lindsay). I would like to think that in this case, the children are reminding us adults of the importance of play and of delighting in the company of one another.  As important as it is to work diligently each day, as well as to include prayer as an essential element of a daily rhythm of life, some form of healthy play is also a blessing— no matter what age we are.


   Because my family members all live at a substantial geographical distance (PA, ME, NJ), our opportunities to “play together” are irregular.  At times, this is very challenging. Yet, I will say that because of it, we try to maximize our interaction when we are together.  Periodically, I have wondered: if we all lived much closer to each other, would I take for granted their proximity and let many opportunities pass? 


   I delight to hear from families in the community, of family reunions and extended-family vacations in these summer months.  Of course, the starting point of family is a blood relationship.  Nevertheless, for people of faith, “family,” by extension, is meant to include our “brothers and sisters in Christ.”      


   Along the lines of this connotation, two imminent events come to mind.  First, next Sunday, August 19, individuals and families who have a connection with St. Genevieve Church, in Calmoutier (just a short way into Holmes County) will gather for their annual reunion Mass and picnic.  I have always been impressed by the manner in which this group maintains their connections, despite the fact that St. Genevieve stopped functioning as an actual parish back in 1981.  This year, as has been announced herein, a special concert will take place at 3 p.m., on that August 19 date.  All are truly welcome!


   Second, all registered parishioners ought to have received a postcard invitation to our St. Mary Parish Picnic.  Sponsored by our Parish Pastoral Council, this event will take place on the evening of Saturday, August 25, following the 5 p.m. Vigil Mass.  I realize that there are persons who prefer it to be in a park setting. However, I hope that ultimately, the value of coming together to delight in each other’s company will take first priority!               





                  Fr. Stephen