Saturday, September 29, 2018

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 30, 2018

Over the past few months, my friend Ralphie and I have been rehearsing our act for the parish festival. Last year I thought it would be fun to surprise everyone, and just a couple of people guessed correctly that I was doing ventriloquism. This year you know ahead of time what kind of act Ralphie and I have, so we have been rehearsing for quite a while.

While Ralphie thinks this is all about him (as he seems to be developing the cheeky personality of the classic ventriloquist dummy), I know that there are many people who have been putting a lot of work into the more important parts of our parish festival. There have been people prepping for the Italian booth in the cafeteria on Saturday mornings for quite a while, there has been a smell of cooking onions for the pierogi booth at various times, and there has been some painting and cleaning of the bar area. And that’s just a sample of what’s been happening on site in a way that I’ve been able to notice. The chairpersons of the various other booths have been working here and at their homes to make sure everything is ready, as have those who are working behind the scenes.

So come on out this week, Thursday through Saturday, and enjoy the food and fun of our St. Malachy Nationality Festival. The festival runs from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM each of the three evenings, leaving me with the choice of what food booths to taste. I am at the age where I have to be careful not to overdo it, and there is just so much good food to choose from. I know that I will have a good meal from the German booth. (With a name like Hissrich, how could I not support my ancestral heritage?) Many of the other booths have the same great food that I have enjoyed in past years. And there are some new things such as “Fresh Off the Grill,” an outdoor grill that will feature hot sausage, grilled kielbasa, cheese steak hoagies on other delicacies.

Our festival features other forms of fun for everyone as well. There are games for the children (now in the school lobby) as well as for the adults. You can come away with some wonderful prizes, from the linen booth run by our school faculty all the way up through the raffle prizes of $1,000 Thursday evening, $2,500 Friday evening, and the grand prize of $5,000 Saturday night.

Entertainment in the gym will include a number of acts on Thursday, starting with the Mars Rover Quartet, a part of the Greater Cranberry Men’s Chorus that Fr. Russell sings with, followed by our own championship St. Malachy Cheerleaders. Ralphie and I are on after the cheerleaders, and then we have a performance by Dance Time, formerly the Miller School of Dance. The Celtic Spirit Highland Dancers and Pipers of Pittsburgh will perform on Friday evening. And Saturday we have Elvis Presley returning to St. Malachy, as presented by our own Don Obusek. So come on out and enjoy yourself (while supporting St. Malachy Parish) at our festival this week. It is sure to be a great time for all.

You are welcome to stop reading at this point, but I feel like adding a bit of information that is so trivial that it doesn’t even qualify as trivia. Last year I knew my ventriloquism partner simply as Ralphie. I wanted him to have a full name, but nothing more than “Ralphie” seemed to fit. Since then I have come to call him Ralph Edgar Mulligan. “Ralphie” goes back to an inside joke with an old high school friend. Edgar is in honor of the great ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, who really helped popularize the art. And he was named Mulligan after a seminary professor who was my spiritual director for four years. So come say hello to Ralphie, but please don’t tell him that we’re not getting paid for our act.
                                                                                                   Father H