I’ve been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving and what to even say to all of you who read my blog; it’s a different kind of Thanksgiving this year, that’s for sure.

This past Monday, I needed to take my Jeep in for service; it seemed that the steering was acting erratically on our last trip from Erie. If you hit a bump in the road, the Jeep would begin to shake violently to the point that you almost needed to pull over to the side of the road; it was terrifying! We did what most ‘roadside’ neophyte mechanics do, we Googled it and found that it called ‘The Jeep Death Wobble’! Wow, huh!? It is a result of how the way the Jeep front end is manufactured, and it needed to be fixed soon. Since Katelyn and I are a one-car family now, we rely heavily on our vehicle to be stable and always ready to go.

On my way home from the Jeep dealer after the repairs were completed (which only took them a half a day as they are used to dealing with this issue) I stopped to get the car washed in Flourtown. Two gentlemen were also there, standing next to each other along the glass wall watching their car get washed. I made a comment as I passed by them, “You can’t take the boy out of the man!” We all laughed and then began a brief conversation wherein we reminisced about how we shared the boyhood experience of going to the car wash with our dads and watching the process and being so thrilled! I told them that once in a while my dad would take me to the carwash where we could sit in the car and drive through it! Oh, how exciting that was! I said, “We didn’t have Disney, but we always had the car wash!” And there it was, my Thanksgiving message for you this year!

This year, as we all curtail our gatherings and travel plans to comply with the CDC guidelines to bring this pandemic to end, I thought about Saint Miriam and the car wash experience! You see, we will always try to keep our parish present, vigilant, and strong so that when we return – when we need her the most – she will be there. I have learned that just like I rely on my jeep, I also depend on on the strong ever-present and vigilant presence of the parish we created together, and I give thanks that she is always there when we need her. I couldn’t imagine a world without her. And I also realized that so many of us wish we had Disney, but in doing so we miss the ‘car washes’ of our days that are still strong and present to bring us joy.

My wish for you is a safe, heartfelt Thanksgiving where family is present where they mean the most: within our hearts. And I wish you to remember and experience those more mundane car washes of our lives where the childhood joy is within us again. This is what Thanksgiving is all about.

I promise I will do my best during this in-person shutdown to try and keep Saint Miriam here. With your support, we will make it through this time and the sun will rise on Disney again.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to your home; from our heart we send you love and hope…
Monsignor +Jim