HASTINGS (SNR) – The health ministry of St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings will sponsor a new event Sept. 11.
The ‘St. Isidore Celebration of Creation’ will be held in St. Cecilia’s Centennial Hall, 623 N. Colorado, adjacent to the church, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Participants are invited to “appreciate creation in every form” by watching parishioner artists create masterpieces, and view other works; to learn about fair trade practices and purchase fair-trade crafts, coffees and chocolates; share locally-grown vegetables and learn techniques for canning and freezing, and more. The celebration is named for St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers and rural communities.
The mission of the St. Cecilia’s health ministry is to “promote health and wellness of body, mind, and spirit within our parish and community.”
Director Susan Ferrone said the ministry “is one means by which our parish community can actively address areas in our lives in which parishioners may experience suffering, and is a tangible vehicle through which parishioners can receive support.”
Since a parish survey nearly two years ago, the ministry has worked to develop and deliver timely programs and events, as well as provide parish nurse services, to parish needs.
This event was developed by health ministry volunteers and staff, Ferrone said, “to create a fun and unique opportunity for our parish and local Hastings community to come together, while simultaneously providing a specific venue through which we could address several health-related needs, voiced by our parishioners.”
The Jubilee Year of Mercy, as well as Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, were inspiration for this event.
The celebration will include displays and demonstrations by local artists and artisans, in a variety of fields. Those who attend may watch a spinning wheel and a potter’s wheel. A teenage entrepreneur will explain raising chickens, and the South Central Nebraska Beekeepers Association will also present … outside.
Many parish organizations will be involved. A member of St. Cecilia’s Scout troop 125 will have a safety display and the winners of the Catholic Daughters’ poetry and essay contest on stewardship will be present. The presentation on fair trade practices will benefit Catholic Relief Services.
“I hope they have fun, meeting artists, gardeners and neighbors,” pastor Father Joseph Walsh said. “I hope they see the goodness of God in His creatures and in creation.”
Prior to the event, parishioners are also invited to participate in creating a 9-foot mural of the Divine Mercy image. All are invited to reflect on how they have given and received mercy this year, and then place a provided, colored sticker in the image.
“If you choose, you can personalize the stickers by writing on them; a prayer intention, an act of Mercy you will perform, or simply your initials,” Feronne said. The image will be displayed at the St. Isidore celebration, and then presented to Father Walsh at the end of the event, to commemorate his 30 years of service as a priest, and the Jubilee Year of Mercy.