Patriot and Posey Township 11-3-15

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Yes, Pat Tierney! There is a restaurant open in Patriot! Marilyn Cook has contacted me and lists her new hours for Cook’s Kitchen as Monday – Thursday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the brick apartment building at the intersection of Highways 250 and 156, at the flashing light in Patriot. Pat, by the way, called recently from Cincinnati asking about the restaurant but I did not at the time have any information to give her.

For most of us in the United States, Halloween is now only a memory but for some cultures and religions of the world, festivities will continue through the first part of this week. Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Festivities will not include Spiderman costumes, bags of candy and spooky noises but with the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the church year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

My first experience with this was during a mission trip to Grand Guave in Haiti. Our compound was built around a large three story building: first floor was the kitchen, laundry, dining and meeting rooms, second floor was dorms and the third designated as living quarters for the missionaries who lived there year round. The roof, however, was also used weather permitting for a gathering place to worship. It was one such night, on the roof of the building that as I sat with the others from our mission group for vespers, I could both see and hear a celebration just outside the walls of the compound. At first it was almost as though we were in some kind of playful competition: if we sang, they returned with their own musical performance of singing and dancing each time just a little bit louder than the last. But where our songs were peaceful, theirs seemed to escalate in tempo and seemed almost angry in nature. Their dancing appeared to become more chaotic and even the fires of their torches and bonfire seemed to become stronger and threatening. When it became obvious that they were indeed attempting to drown us out, the missionary explained to us that their gathering was at a Voodoo temple and their celebration was for Fet Gede or All Souls Day.

The Haitian government declared Voodoo an official religion in 2003, granting Voodoo priests the authority to perform weddings and baptisms. Fet Gede (All Souls Day) is a national holiday in Haiti celebrated on the first and second of November. Vodouisants will go to cemeteries to pray; offer food, drink and flowers; and light candles for the dead. Celebrations and dancing continues at Voodoo temples, known as ‘peristyles’, for the entire night. That is what we had experienced and to be truthful, it was quite unnerving.

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico also on November 1st and 2nd. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Soul’s and All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones. They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31st, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos or little angels) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2nd, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. In most of the homes of Indian villages, altars are decorated with candles and flowers, and all types of food and drink for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos and on November 2nd, cigarettes and shots of mescal are offered to the adult spirits. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families. On the afternoon of November 2nd, the festivities are taken to the cemetery where people clean tombs, play cards, listen to music and reminisce about their loved ones.

All Souls Day – or the Feast of All Souls – is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity. The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day. Most protestant denomination do not recognize the holiday and disagree with the theology behind it. This year it is November 2nd. (Locally, the Most Sorrowful Mother of God Catholic Church in Vevay will celebrate Mass on All Saints Day, Tuesday November 1st.) According to Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places: heaven, hell or purgatory. In heaven a person is in a state of perfect grace and communion with God. In hell, those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their choice. Purgatory, however, is thought to be where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser sin, must go and is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. Jewish tradition also reinforces this belief. Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so that they may enter into heaven.

Good luck convincing people that Halloween is a religious holiday. Hallmark and Hershey’s have far too much influence on the minds of our younger generation for them to ever believe that! But then again, look what’s happened to Christmas and Easter!

June Lack, Carol Oder and Sharon Ward are on our prayer list this week along with Patty Chase and Mike Danner.

The November meeting of the Red HOT Hatters will be hosted by Cheryl McMillan and will be at Switzer Square in Vevay on Wednesday, November 9th at 11 a.m. The dinner menu will include “Soup and Salad”. At that meeting, final arrangements will be made for our third annual “Christmas at the Mansion” luncheon which will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 12th at the beautiful Benjamin Schenck Mansion in Vevay. Specifics will be shared when decided. Reservations will be required by Monday, December 5th. Part of all of our meetings is a voluntary gift exchange. Gifts should be wrapped or bagged and be valued at approximately $10 and can run the whole gamut of serious to silly to curious or bizarre. Although we have been affiliated with the Red Hat Society since March 19th, 2012, our only three requirements for membership are: 1) enjoy a good meal, 2) have fun and 3) make new friends! Hats are optional. Some of us wear ribbons, bows or flowers in our hair and others go all out with wide brimmed hats with feathers and even ball caps with sequins. Not even everyone wears red and purple. If you are 50 years young or older, you are welcome to come and join in our festivities. If you are under 50, you are welcome to come as a designated “Pink Hat” with all of the same privileges. We normally meet once a month, either on a Monday or Wednesday at 11 a.m. This year we actively supported both the Switzerland County Animal Shelter Shuffle and the Switzerland County Relay for Life. We are currently looking for a Christmas project. If you are interested or have any additional questions, please feel free to contact one of the ladies listed above or myself at (812) 594-2281. We would love to have you join us – with or without a red hat!

Regardless of whom you vote for, please vote!

November 7th at 6 p.m. will be the next Patriot Town Board meeting. All meetings are held at the Patriot Town Hall which also houses the offices of the Patriot Water Company at 352 3rd St. All invited to attend.

If you have anything for me to include in this article, please send it to me. Information can be received any day of the week but normally my deadline is Sunday at noon for that week’s issue of the paper. Any news received later will appear in the following week’s article. If you need something in on a particular date be sure and give it to me early. Thank you for sending me what you do every week – I couldn’t do this without you!

You may contact me several ways: by leaving a note of message inside the cat mailbox in front of 1995 Front Street in Patriot; or by calling my home at (812) 594-2281; or dropping me a note at P.O. Box #01, Patriot, Indiana, 47038. In addition, contact KAY E COOK on Facebook or online at PatriotNews1995@gmail.com.