The 2006 Lenten Day of Service was held on Saturday, March 4 and culminated months of planning and preparation.
Lists and tasks had been organized for months and many parishioners had been making provisions at home so that they could give their time and talents to the church for this Lenten Day of Service And what a wonderful day it was.
The day began at 8 a.m. as those who had committed on a sign-up sheet (and even some who had not) gathered in St. Joseph Hall for the opening prayer service. The theme of the day was based on the biblical reading which instructs us to put on our sackcloth and be reminded of penance and sacrifice during these 40 days of Lent. Attendees were invited to cut a piece of burlap and wear it during the day as a sign of their service to the Lord and the parish.
Teams organized by chairperson Philip Troha were posted on a large board. Those in attendance, young and old, found their respective team leaders and began to organize work in different areas of the parish campus. Many brought tools and supplies from home to aid in cleaning and much needed repairs and construction. And so the sawing, raking, dusting, organizing and cleaning began. Just a few of the areas affected were:
Main sanctuary - general cleaning, polishing and organization
St. Joseph Hall - organization and cleaning in kitchen and main hall area
Conference Room - transfer and permanent erection of bookshelves and establishment of a parish library/study
Family Life Center - cleaning of classrooms (which included steam cleaning of the carpets), SPIRIT room and Knights of Columbus room.
Grounds - total repair and restoration of metal framed benches; collection of leaves/straw; cutting and removal of dead trees; general pruning; revitalization of garden including cleaning and planting of new flowers and trees
Cooking - One group of parishioners began cooking the night before the event to smoke pork in order to provide a wonderful meal to all
Everyone took a break mid-day to celebrate Holy Mass on the occasion of First Saturday. Father Bean alluded to the clear blue sky as the color aligned with our Blessed Mother as we prayed and worshiped before her grotto on the grounds outside. After Mass, the group posed for a photo while the a lunch was being prepared that consisted of smoked pork, creamed potatoes, green beans, chips and drinks. We even had birthday cake to celebrate one of our young parishioner's birthday!
Father Gray Bean shared his thoughts about the day: "For me the really incredible thing about the day was to see so many generations working together...small children, youth and young adults, middle agers and old timers all getting together to make a concrete investment in the Church. The whole day was characterized by joy. This always seems to be the fruit of service."
Nearly 100 parishioners attended devoting to an incredible amount of hours worked. It was a tremendous communal effort.
This was the 4th annual Lenten Day of Service. Many attended the 5 p.m. Mass, ending their day of service to worship the Lord. Don't miss the photo albums in our Family Life Photos section. (Note: More photos are being added so please check back.)
The tradition of service continues as parishioner prepare for the largest annual fundraiser, Springfest 21, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 7, 2006.
Thanks to all who participated and a special thanks to Philip Troha and his co-organizers, Don Meadows, Gaeton Conte and Robbie Smith. And Philip thanks all the parishioners and his team in this week's bulletin found here on this website.