Thirty-five Years Ago:….I returned from a July vacation to find the steel city of Johnstown devastated by a flash flood that took the lives of almost 80 people. Bethlehem Steel closed its mills in Johnstown shortly after and the city never recovered.
Last week I returned from a July vacation to find the city of State College devastated, not by an act of nature, but as a result of human-inflicted punishments for the child sexual abuse crimes at the University.
Although no lives were lost and the streets are not piled high with flood debris, the parallel is chilling. Many of us are wondering and worrying if State College will go the way of Johnstown. What if there are 50,000 empty seats at Beaver Stadium for each PSU home football games for a decade? What will become of us?
Well, State College is not Johnstown. Our economic base is more diverse, and there is much more to the University itself than football. Nevertheless, some drop in income can be expected for the University, the community, and yes, our parish. The “days of wine and roses” may well be over. We will need to appreciate iced tea and carnations, so to speak.
In any event, the events of the past eight months have left me with much homiletic material, or at least something to write about in the bulletin for a while. As I like to say - stay tuned!
Attention Married Couples: As part of his Marriage Building Initiative, Bishop Bartchak has asked that each parish in the Diocese ask prayers once a month for those married couples of our parish who are celebrating a wedding anniversary that month. We will be announcing the anniversaries on the weekend of August 18/19. If you are celebrating your wedding anniversary in August and would like to be mentioned in the announcements and included in the petitions, please notify Diane at the church office by August 16.
Annual Parish Bazaar: The date for this year’s Fall Bazaar has been set - Saturday, Nov. 10th! And we have a new coordinator - Chris Kirkpatrick! Chris can be reached at 237-7832, ext. 204. We plan to have a tailgate, crafts, ethnic food, baked goods, theme baskets, and a raffle once again, plus bringing back the silent auction, children’s games and live entertainment! If you would like to help in one or more of these areas, or another area, please let Chris Kirkpatrick know ASAP.