Attractions at a Parish Fair?

I spent a few years chairing a parish’s annual fair and had to make determinations about what booths would work and what would not. One evening, being rather tired from working on a current one, my husband and I came up with a (totally fictional) list of prospective booths.

1. The Body Piercing Booth. Someone offered to donate an old hole punch which would have made this booth a real money maker – very low overhead. When we inquired whether they planned to use alcohol for disinfection purposes, they exclaimed, “Of course! 150-proof!”

2. The Tattoo Booth. The person interested in sponsoring this booth was very sincere but, sadly, untalented. We didn’t feel there would be much call for stick figure tattoos. He assured us that they were of the saints but his samples all looked alike to us.

3. The Healing Booth. This booth became obsolete as soon as we turned down the body piercing and tattoo booth.

4. Foods from the Earth Booth. We understand some people feel earthworms are edible but we decided to go with beef hamburgers this time around.

5. Madam Zablonghini’s Booth. Madame offered us a discount on her crystal ball service. Unfortunately, the huge radio tower on the church premises interfered with her reception.

6. Mud Wrestling Booth. This booth was canceled due to lack of interest. Go figure.

7. Tofu on a Stick Booth. The sponsors for this booth canceled out when we suggested for sales appeal they either dip them in chocolate or deep fry them.

8. Martin Luther Discount Indulgence Booth. The booth was banned in this diocese. The sponsors were a bit dismayed as they planned to give a free 60-day indulgence with every purchase.

9. Health Update Booth. This would have been the place to catch up on your children’s vaccines while they enjoyed the Fair. Seems a large group of children have threatened to block the entrance when the Shots on Wheels tried to get in the parking lot.

10. Night Cap Booth. This booth planned to serve free servings of Surge Soda, the pop with twice the sugar and 90 percent caffeine with all the refills you want for children ten and under. Seems parental disapproval was one hundred percent.

Abrogating Holy Days of Obligation

When I was growing up, Holy Days of Obligation were celebrated on the assigned day and if it fell on a week day, people managed to attend Mass, as they should, and didn’t bemoan the fact that life was so inconsiderate as to intrude on their busy work week with a trip to the church, a hour’s worth of Mass, and a sermon.

Abrogating the Holy Days seems to be a given in our current day and age. When they made Ascension

Thursday a Sunday celebration, I knew the stamina of the Catholic soul was, perhaps, in serious danger. I don’t think the hierarchy that comes up with these changes has ever dealt with children. From my own experience, I know that the minute I give in on a rule or request, the children are not so much grateful but busy considering their next inroad into my disciplinary rules. With that thought in mind, my husband once came up with his own bit of satire on the subject:

Monday Holy Days
Report of the Holy Day Sub-Sub-Committee of the Mass Schedule Sub-Committee of the Liturgy Committee of the National Conference Bored of the U.S. Catholic Deacons.

Due to the success of moving  Holy Days to Sundays in some parts of the U.S., we the above sub-sub-committee propose the following: That all Holy Days which fall on Mondays be moved to the previous Sunday in zip codes ending in odd numbers, and that all Holy Days which fall on Mondays be moved to the next Sunday in zip codes ending in even numbers. Parishes which have zip codes ending in zero will be required to hold annual ballots on December 31 in which the parishioners will decide for the forthcoming year whether they will celebrate the Holy Days on the previous or following Sunday.

In the spirit of democracy and lay participation, all Bishops will be required to allow any parish which wishes to vote on whether to accept the odd/even zip code designation or to chose the Sunday of their own choice. Parishes which wish to celebrate the Holy Day on the actual feast day will need a two thirds majority of the ballots, a petition signed by 75% of the registered parishioners, baptismal certificates for 50% plus one of the registered parishioners, and first communion and confirmation certificates for at least 45% of the registered parishioners. In addition the pastor, associate pastors, deacons, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, catechists, and janitors must sign an affirmation of loyalty to the Spirit of Vatican II.