Community invited to Feast of All Nations in Connellsville
The Rev. Gerry Juarez of the Partner Parishes of the Catholic Community of Connellsville has a dream to one day have Connellsville be a town that everyone knows.
In order to achieve that, Juarez is busy planning a celebration that he hopes will gain attention locally — and maybe worldwide.
On Pentecost Sunday, Juarez, along with the Rev. Bob Lubic, pastor of three Catholic churches in Connellsville — Immaculate Conception, St. Rita, and St. John the Evangelist — is inviting the community to the first Feast of All Nations.
Juarez and Lubic are planning to bring a diverse and fun cultural experience to the area.
The event will showcase Connellsville's various ethnicities, heritages and backgrounds.
“I dream of people not asking me anymore whenever I tell them that I am assigned in Connellsville, ‘Where on earth is that?'” Juarez said. “I dream that Connellsville is placed in the world map at least once a year and that is on Pentecost Sunday. I dream that Pentecost Sunday becomes a world day event not only because it is the birth of our Holy Mother Catholic Church but also a day when the Feast of All Nations is joyfully celebrated in Connellsville.”
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Geibel Catholic School.
Mass will be celebrated starting at 10 a.m. in the school's gymnasium, followed by lunch, with a colorful, fun and educational afternoon to follow.
All three of the Connellsville Catholic parishes will be taking part in the event. The churches' advisory boards have been meeting on a weekly basis to plan the event.
There will be foods and cultural exhibits and events from the churches' own ethnic backgrounds. There will also be an offering of culture from other areas that include the Philippines, Mexico and France.
“I think that this is a great idea,” Lubic said. “We don't have a plethora of ethnic parishes or a sense of ethnicity of our heritage or of our past. This is an opportunity to enhance from where we came and hopefully it will be a part of who be will become.”
Ethnic groups attending will be setting up booths in the cafeteria, where they will prepare foods and products that will represent their country of origin. The groups will prepare some form of dance or music that will highlight their origin.
“I dream that whenever people outside of Connellsville think of the Feast of All Nations grandiose celebration that they think of the historic city of Connellsville,” Juarez said. “Yes, I dream for Connellsville, for I fell in love with her.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.