Welcome, Father Saul

Community invited to St. Mary’s festival on Aug. 12

A party on Aug. 12 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church will help introduce the community to Father Saul Alba Infanta, who joined the parish in April.

An outdoor festival known as kermess invites Latino and Anglo Community members from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the church grounds (details below).

Funds raised support the ministries of St. Mary’s, including the much-needed addition of Father Saul.

Father Saul, who was born in Mexico, will be a familiar face to many; he studied here with Father Ron Maag at St. Mary’s 11 years ago.

Father Saul started out his career as a lawyer serving clients in Mexico, but he learned his true calling was to serve the Lord wherever he was sent. At age 29, he left his successful law practice and entered seminary, expecting that he would always stay among his people in Mexico. He had no idea that the Lord would call him to work with his people in many parts of the world.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is very pleased that Father Saul’s journeys have brought him to Hood River and that he will be able to provide some much-welcomed help to Father Ron Maag in serving the 1,000 or more families that call St. Mary’s Catholic Church their home church, according to a press release provided by parishioner Connie Kennedy.

Each weekend about 1,600 parishioners attend one of the five Masses at St. Mary’s. That number has been growing steadily during the last 14 years. Today about 60 percent of those are Latino and three Masses are said each weekend in Spanish.

Although Father Ron will admit that Father Saul’s Spanish is much better than his, he won’t give up saying Mass in Spanish and being available for Hispanic parishioners. Father Saul and Father Ron plan to alternate who will say Mass in English and in Spanish each weekend. Father Ron explains that it is important that both priests are available and close to all the parishioners.

St. Mary’s is one congregation served by two priests, not two congregations served by one priest apiece.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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