Body of Christ

Everyone has a different faith formation journey. Tell us a little about yours.

The importance of Mass was instilled in me from a young age. We attended Mass every weekend — including when we were out of town. You could always find us at the early Mass. When the early Mass at Holy Apostles wasn’t early enough, we attended St. Luke’s for a brief time. At home, we always prayed together as a family every morning and before bed. My siblings and I were blessed to be educated at Catholic schools — attending Holy Apostles from kindergarten to 8th grade and then high school at Pius XI.

How have you been involved in parish life at Holy Apostles over the years?

When I was 7, my family was a part of the Vista Family ministry, which provided many opportunities to meet other parishioners while enriching our faith and having fun. This led to involvement in other ministries, which increased my attachment to the parish. From fifth through 10th grade, I was a Mass server. Then, in 11th grade, I joined the choir as part of my Confirmation service ministry. The following summer, I transitioned to a cantor (soloist) and have been doing that for 23 years. As an adult, I was recruited to help run the church festival rummage in 2013. I also helped co-found the Young Adult Ministry and ran it from 2016-20. I have served in the Hospitality Ministry and participated in many service projects that the parish has hosted over the years, including the Lenten Food Pack, Christmas Food Boxes and Fellowship Breakfasts.

Parish festival season is right around the corner, and Holy Apostles has long participated in this Catholic tradition. What can attendees expect?

The festival is June 21-23, and offers a variety of activities for people of all ages: musical entertainment of different genres, rides and games for kids, plus Bingo and a cash sweepstakes. There is plenty to eat, as well, with options ranging from fried food, pizza and tacos to sit-down dinners like our fish fry and Rupena’s chicken. Other attractions are our parish bake sale and, of course, our rummage. And you don’t want to miss our outdoor Mass at 10 a.m. June 23. (Bring a lawn chair.)

You mentioned you help organize the festival’s parish rummage sale. How did you get involved?

I attended the festival in 2012 and met up with my friend Elisa Neckar in the rummage sale, which I had never gone through previously. A few months later, Elisa asked me to come to a Festival Committee meeting to learn more. I joined the Festival Committee in February 2013 and Elisa and I worked with the outgoing chairperson that year. Starting in 2014, we became the official chairs. A few years later, Lisa Napieralski joined the team.

What is involved in organizing the rummage sale?

The planning process starts in the fall of the previous year. Our key volunteers discuss the previous festival and identify successes and areas in need of improvement. In the beginning of April, we start running ads in the bulletin and email previous volunteers about signing up. At the end of April, we open the signup for the whole festival to the parish. The setup for the rummage begins 10 days before the actual event starts. We usually have 80-90 volunteers (who often work multiple shifts) during that time, plus during the actual rummage sale. We find ways to have volunteers of all ages help us. It’s great to have whole families come and help.

What is the price range for rummage sale items?

Our items start at 25 cents with most items under $10. We do occasionally get some higher-end items. We also do an online silent auction, which is great for people to bid on items on the go. For the serious rummagers (or for people who like less congestion), we even offer a rummage presale on June 21, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for a $20 cover charge.

Why do you think the festival rummage sale is so popular?

People love a good deal, and rummage sales are a great place to find them. Even I walk out of the rummage every year with a big box of items. I also think there is an intrigue as to what others are getting rid of.

Where does the rummage sale take place on the parish grounds?

The rummage is held in Holy Apostles School. Items are kept in five classrooms and the hallway, organized by category. The main entrance is through the west side of the building, which also connects to the gym (where the dinners are held), and the bake sale. We have one-way traffic, leading to the check-out area. Each room has a room captain who can help shoppers find items. Volunteers are easy to spot, as we wear bright green shirts. I am the “Rummage Fairy Princess,” so I also wear wings and a crown.

What is the strangest item you have ever seen donated for the rummage sale?

That’s a tough one. We have had whole collections donated before, which is always interesting. One year it was an owl collection, another was Elvis. We’ve received some NSFC (not safe for church) items as well, which can provide a giggle. I think the thing I’ve learned is that what I think is “strange” is “really cool” to someone else.

The church festival is a part of many childhood experiences. Do you remember your first festival?

I can’t remember the first year I attended the Holy Apostles festival, but going to church festivals was something that my family did frequently. I can remember playing the “Sucker Tree” game. It was great because you got a Dum-Dum sucker and a prize!

What makes Holy Apostles special to you?

Holy Apostles is a parish full of life and energy. People are friendly and want to get to know you. Fr. Arul, our pastor, especially makes a point to get to know his parishioners and greets them by name when he sees them.