A thought went through my head last Sunday morning, as I was sailing through Hull Bay on Mr. Meschino’s lobster boat. (Thoughts do occasionally pass through my head from time to time.) We were, of course, escorting the statue of our Blessed Mother to the A Street dock, where we hoped to process it down A Street to the church in celebration of Mary’s feast day, the Feast of the Assumption. “Wouldn’t it be nice,” I thought, “if, say, thirty people were waiting for us there to help us escort the statue to the church?” Imagine my surprise (and delight) when we rounded the corner and I saw hundreds of you waiting there! What a sight that was! What a wonderful way to celebrate the feast of our patron, St. Mary of the Assumption, who has been so good to us over the years! For those of you who couldn’t make it, an estimated 300 people met us at the dock and joined in the procession. Our choir sounded magnificent as they led us in song all the way from the steps of the dock to the doors of the church. After Mass, approximately 150-200 gathered together for food and drinks on the church lawn. It was a splendid celebration from start to finish. Most people I talked to seemed to agree: to be able to publicly celebrate our faith and our traditions was a joyful and exhilarating experience.
So many people volunteered their time and their talents (and their boat!) to make the day so memorable, from our altar servers to our choir to the young men who carried the statue. (If you happen to see Daniel and Dylan Shea, Michael Hanks or Kevin Hulverson, give them an extra pat on the back. The statue is heavier than it looks! I think you’d all agree, though, they looked quite impressive as they carried it down A Street.) Our festival committee had very little time to organize the festival. I think you’ll agree, they did an excellent job! (The committee was led by Eileen and George Boylen, Susan and Richard Armenia, and Judy and Mike McConnell.)Several local establishments generously donated food. I would like to publicly thank Beach Food Market, Daddy’s Beach Club, Hull House of Pizza, Pizza Box, Schooner’s and Weinberg’s Bakery for their generosity. Please see the list I’ve posted in the gathering space for a more detailed list of those I was hoping to acknowledge, including you, not only for bringing salads and desserts to the celebration, or for helping to clean up afterwards, but also for being such faith-filled and supportive members of the Body of Christ. It is a privilege to be your pastor.
Finally, I would like to the most important person of all: Mary. Our Blessed Mother has been good to us, hasn’t she? (I credit her intercession for making the rain stop one hour before the procession and for holding off until one hour after the picnic!) On one level, our procession was meant to be very symbolic. There was a reason we ended the procession, literally, at the altar of Christ. It was to symbolize Mary gathering us together and leading us to her Son. May God bless our efforts as we, in our own little ways, lead others to Him, too.