Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our parish community is about to embark on its annual endeavor of the Carnival. It’s a hallmark of St. Charles, often being the first thing people identify with the parish. It draws many people together and is an opportunity to socialize, have fun, and enjoy the beginning of the summer months.

For many of us, it is a week of both fun and hard work. In my time here at St. Charles, I’ve come to see and appreciate both how massive an undertaking this is, as well as how needed volunteers are to be successful. From all the prep work and setup that happens for months before the start of the actual Carnival week, to the games and food stations and other areas that we interact with on a nightly basis throughout the week, to the incredible amount of the behind the scenes things that happen, it’s all necessary, appreciated, and incredibly valuable. To those that give of their time and talent to help the Carnival be successful, please know of my personal thanks. Your efforts are known and appreciated, both in the current year, and in many cases, for the years before.

Year after year, we make a big push to get new volunteers for this massive and important event. Year after year, it can feel like we’re beating the same drum. In certain cases, it can be frustrating to those who currently give of their time, particularly those in critical areas, that others don’t seem to have the same commitment to this annual undertaking. How do you solve all of that is a question that gets discussed each and every year.

From my perspective, as someone who really was unconnected and unsure how to begin with the Carnival eight years ago, it was daunting. And yeah, there was definitely trial and error along the way; jobs that did not suit me and others that did. At times, it felt hard to break in, but so rewarding once I did. Some of you reading might know exactly what I’m talking about, either as someone who isn’t sure how to get involved or as someone who’s gotten into the Carnival swing.

To anyone reading this that isn’t volunteering yet for the Carnival, there’s still time to do so for this year. And yes, you might be thinking that it isn’t for you. You might feel like you just don’t have the time right now. You might be unsure of where to go and what to do, where the right fit is. From one former newbie to a potential one, I can only say, “Go for it!” The connections I’ve made with others, the fun I’ve had, the satisfaction of being part of something bigger than myself and in doing something that isn’t always easy makes the whole endeavor worth it. You owe it to yourself to give it a try. There’s a place for you here; both at the Carnival and in the St. Charles Borromeo Parish Community.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan