Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
Well it is finally here! Once again it is Card Party Sunday. We just celebrated Br. Terry's golden jubilee. He confessed that it was amazing to think that it has been 50 years since he first became a Redemptorist. It is likewise amazing to think that The Card Party is well over 50 years old. Throughout those years it has been held in various hotels, then The Rock, then Cardinal Ritter, and now it is back here at the corner of Cook & Grand. More people play bingo than cards these days, but no matter where it is; whether you're playing cards, bingo, a board game, or you’re just visiting with family & friends; no matter whether you call it Card Party or Fall Festival; no matter whether you're more worried about its financial success or whether you'll win a prize of some type; today is about fellowship and building community. Despite all the stress that comes with it, I always look forward to spending this afternoon visiting with you. I see it as a great opportunity to catch up with some of you, as well as, getting to know some of our new parishioners a little better. I hope you take the time to do the same.
There is a group of people that we all must thank. First the committee that has spent many hours in preparation of this day, so that the rest of us can have a good time and our parish make a little money. The second group are all of those who volunteer to work this afternoon instead of relaxing, eating, and playing games. From year to year it is, for the most part, the same group of people who tirelessly serve their fellow parishioners.
I think it is important that we do not forget this. They are not being paid, and they have every right to pull up a chair and relax. The one thing that embarrasses me as your pastor is that every year there are instances of a few people criticizing and even yelling at these people. Two years ago one of the Ritter students, who was not even a Rock parishioner, was brought to tears by one of us. And the worst part, she was yelled at for something that was not even her fault. What image does she have of The Rock Church? Now I know that most of you show your gratitude and truly appreciate those who work so hard to make this event successful, but unfortunately it only takes a couple of people.
Please remember that those who spent the last several months preparing for today, those who helped set up the event, who put together the Ad Book, who donated attendance prizes, who served you food, who sold you tickets, all these people did it out of the goodness of their heart and in service of you and their God. So you might want to just thank them for allowing you to sit back and enjoy the day.
In the Redeemer,