Let us give thanks

By Tereza Ma
MERIDIAN – Sunday, Nov. 21 was a special day for the parishes of St. Patrick and St. Joseph in Meridian. After two years the parishes were able to celebrate with their annual Thanksgiving feast and were joined by Bishop Joseph Kopacz, also celebrating the feast of Christ the King at Mass with Father Augustine Palimattam.

Parishioners were thankful for many things. Here are a few of their responses:
– Valeria Rangel is thankful for the Spanish and English speaking parishioners to get together as community. “Even though we have different Mass times, speak in different languages and have different cultures, it is wonderful to come together.”

– For Ken Woodward the dinner was a renewal of the community. “It leads us to Christ because we are the body of Christ. On this day as we honor him as King of Kings, what better way to do it than enjoying community with our brothers and sisters and enjoy a meal together.”

– Lucila Vargas, originally from Columbia, has been a member of St. Patrick for 46 years. She has enjoyed the tradition of the parish gathering to give thanks and enjoy a meal, as in her home country “they normally just go to church and give thanks to the Lord.”

– Dorethea Cole of St. Joseph parish loves the way that both parishes “get together as one Catholic community.”

– Tina Nadeau traveled 1,450 miles from South Dakota by motorcycle for the event to spend her mom’s birthday with her and enjoy Thanksgiving together with her mother and stepdad, who cooked for the parish feast. “It is so special to be here and give thanks.”

MERIDIAN – Bishop Joseph Kopacz and Father Augustine Palimattam celebrate Mass on Nov. 21 for Feast of Christ the King, prior to the huge Thanksgiving celebration for the St. Patrick and St. Joseph Catholic community. (Photos by Tereza Ma)
Father Augustine and Bishop Kopacz visit with parishioners before taking stroll to the parish center to enjoy the annual Thanksgiving meal.
Gerry Cober who prepared many delicious items on the menu, visits with parishioners to see how they are enjoying the meal. He had family come visit from South Dakota for the event and Thanksgiving.
Father Aaron Williams shared a laugh with parishioners during the feast.
Valeria Rantel with her mom and two siblings head into the community center to share thanks and a meal.