GLANDORF — Small hometown festivals are geared toward giving families quality time together to have fun.
Perhaps that was led the Rev. Anthony Fortman of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church to the topic of his sermon at Glandorf Park on Saturday.
Fortman spoke on the importance of family in front of a crowd numbering in the thousands in an outdoor Mass held during the Glandorf Park Fest.
“When I look at all these people here, I think of family,” Fortman said. “A family is a very sacred gathering.”
Fortman explained that family life is holy and people shouldn’t take it for granted.
“Family life is where we understand what it is to be humble,” Fortman said. “If there is chaos, it is of the devil. If there is unity, it is of God. Family life is worth fighting for. It should never take second fiddle.”
Fortman said there is an attack against families and that people should fight for it before it is taken away.
“Don’t think for a minute that it isn’t under attack,” Fortman said.
The outdoor Mass has become a tradition with the festival, which wound down with food, games and children’s rides after also being open Friday. Church historian Mike Leach said outdoor Masses have been a tradition for some time in the community.
“We have had outdoor Masses since 1954,” Leach said. “In the 1970s, the Park Fest supplanted the church social. It is a tradition for everyone to come to the park on Labor Day weekend for the festival for Mass.”
The festival opened Friday with a DJ, a live band, and turtle races. Many events were hosted Saturday, including a children’s tractor pull, a 5K run, horseshoe and corn hole tournaments, the festival’s famous bean soup, and more live music.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.