The Fete of St Joseph

Today is the feast of my patron, St Joseph. Sadly, I didn’t make it to mass today. It has been Fete Day in my parish and I have been in charge of parking. In fact that is where I am right now.

If you live in another country or if you are not Catholic, you perhaps will not be able to appreciate the scale of the average Australian suburban parish fete. The football oval has been full since 10am this morning. The only thing I can compete it to is the country shows that I grew up with as a boy. It is the chimed effort of the parish and its two schools, and brings on a significant percentage of our annual budget.

It is, I think, an appropriate way to mark St Joseph’s day, as he is also the patron of our parish. But it is a little disappointing that they day will not be concluded with a special mass for the patronal festival. I will get to mass tonight after the pack up, but that will be for Sunday not for the feast.

Ah well. It’s not a perfect world!

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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6 Responses to The Fete of St Joseph

  1. Tony Bartel says:

    Actually, the situation in Australia is far worse than David lets on.

    We have been involved with four Catholic schools in our children’s education and three of them have had their fete on a Sunday startign about 10:00 a.m. in the morning (the other one did not have fete).

    And nobody thought that Catholic Christians might have something better to do on a Sunday morning.

    • Peter says:

      Don’t feel out of place here Tony.
      Once our parish primary school conducted the school sports on the morning of Palm Sunday.

      • catherine says:

        Tony and Peter, really I feel you are being too critical/unecessarily whinging.. If someone wants to go to mass they can go Saturday or Sunday night. The fetes are run to make money. On Saturdays people are running kids to organised sports, ballet, etc so the parishes would feel they had to do the fete on Sunday.

  2. PM says:

    They are not being unnecessarily whingeing. If schools don’t take the sacraments seriously, why should the students? First things first.

    • catherine says:

      PM, the schools are not stopping anyone from going from mass. If someone wants to go to mass they can easily go Saturday night, 8am or 9am Sunday morning or Sunday evening.

  3. Tony Bartel says:

    Catherine, I think the point is that Sunday Mass is “core business” and we should not be setting up distractions which compete with/detract from our core business, whether that be on Saturday evening, Sunday morning or Sunday evening.

    There is also the minor point that Saturday/Sunday evening masses were introduced, I believe, to allow for people who worked on Sunday mornings to be able to fulfill the Sunday obligation, not to replace the Sunday morning Mass or to allow the Church to fundraise at a more convenient time.

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