Dear Friends in Christ:
This is it! This is the weekend of our annual parish bazaar. For several hours, thousands of parishioners, neighbors and friends will all enjoy a wonderful day of fun, fellowship and of course, food! I sincerely hope that you will be part of the festivities and enjoy a fantastic day. A word of warning: Watch out for the long lines at the funnel cake booth and the pupusas booth! They are two of the perennial favorites and worth the wait, but all of our food booths have delectable offerings for every taste. Officially, the bazaar is only from around 10:30 a.m. until around 6:00 p.m. In reality, the bazaar is a yearlong endeavor. This day of fun takes more than 1500 volunteers to make it the great success that it has become. Headed up by Richard Fairly and our great Parish Life Department, the bazaar also involves all of our parish staff and departments, groups, ministries and organizations. It is the largest event of the year in which the entire parish comes together.
Some years ago the focus and rationale of the bazaar underwent a modification. Like many parishes and organizations, the net proceeds of the bazaar used to be designated for our ordinary parish budget. This meant it paid for the light bill, salaries, supplies, insurance, etc. There was nothing wrong with that. For some parishes and schools the bazaar funds are the only thing keeping them from having a budget deficit and falling in the red. After careful thought and consideration, it was decided that was not the best that we could do as a parish. The ordinary expenses of the parish should be covered by our regular, ordinary, weekly sacrificial stewardship. A deliberate decision was made that we would re-designate the proceeds of our bazaar so that they would be given totally to our charity endeavors. We would use these funds to add to our other charity work and assist those outside our parish. This meant the re-working of our parish budget. We sacrificed a little so that others might benefit a lot. But more than the financial aspects of the bazaar, we also changed the main reason as to why we have a bazaar in the first place. The primary objective of our bazaar is not financial, although that remains important. The primary objective is to build up the community life of our parish, to strengthen the bonds of friendship and work together for the common goal of making a positive difference for others. The bazaar is an opportunity for all of our parishioners, from all the different masses and groups to come together as one family. It is for our young and the old, our long time parishioners and our newest parishioners and everyone in between. We get to meet new people, renew old friendships and share some time together in a fun atmosphere.
In the Acts of the Apostles, there is a beautiful description of the early Church that we try to imitate here at SJV.
“They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the communal life, the breaking of the bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
The bazaar is part of our communal life. We dedicate this Lord’s Day to offering God All Glory, Praise and Honor at Holy Mass and to spending this day with one another, having a lot of fun, some delicious food, sharing some laughs and doing good for others. As my East Texas relatives would say, “you can’t beat that with a stick!”
Enjoy the day and thank you for being such a beautiful parish!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately