Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The very last St. Mary's Church Bazaar, ever

The Parish Festival for Our Lady of Czestochowa, Nanticoke, a.k.a. Saint Mary's, will be held this Friday and Saturday, August 7 and 8, 2009, at the Holy Child Grove in Sheatown (directions, sort of; these are to Guardian Elder Care, a nursing home located in front of the grove.)

I could really just repost my entry about this from last year. Here is an excerpt:

Saint Mary's Parish Festival, or Church Bazaar, or "Picnic" (to use the more genteel term) used to be a thing of legend. For years these were held in the parking lot behind the church and school and were three-day events, starting Friday night and wrapping up Sunday night. Sounds of polkas could be heard for blocks around, and the smell of frying food permeated the area for days. Beer flowed like water, parked cars clogged the streets in the neighborhood, and young punks rubbed elbows with the elderly. Yet somehow, I never remember any fights or other disturbances.
This will be the very last St. Mary's Church Bazaar. ever. St. Mary's Church will be closing in a few months...technically. It will continue to function as a "secondary worship site" for as long as it so pleases His Excellency Bishop Martino of Scranton, with whom all ultimate authority for the direction of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Scranton rests. The primary worship site will be the building currently known as Holy Trinity Church, which features inadequate ventilation, inadequate handicapped access, and a parking lot which can comfortably fit about twenty cars - twice that many if the cars are parked so the ones that are parked in marked spaces are blocked in by the ones that are parked on every other square inch of asphalt.

I don't know when the technical "closing" of Holy Trinity will be held. Nor do I know when the actual closings of St. Joseph's, St. Stanislaus, and Holy Family will take place. (The parishioners of Holy Family, located several miles from Holy Trinity, have formally appealed their closure to the Vatican. ) Once upon a time, not long ago, each of these parishes as well as all the already-closed parishes in Nanticoke held individual church bazaars. Some were larger, some were smaller, but all were well-attended by people from throughout the city regardless of parish affiliation, and all turned a profit (as far as I know.) With all of these parishes consolidated into one, how many church bazaars will have to be held to equal the combined revenue of all of the consolidated parishes' bazaars? And if there is to be only one, how long will it have to run to bring in that sort of money?

And how will His Excellency the Bishop of Scranton react when he sees that the money coming in to his office from his cut of the church bazaars in Nanticoke has dropped drastically since consolidation?

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