Changing the subject

You may have noticed a slight change on the cover of The ByzantineCatholic World
from previous months.
On the masthead — now inset on the letter “O” in “World” — is the onion dome of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius. After transferring files to a new computer in the office, I found the former masthead to be a bit “fuzzy” so Archbishop William Skurla and I decided to design a new one. It’s one small change in a year of change.
As summer was winding down, I started thinking about all the changes and everything I’ve missed this year since March due to COVID-19. It’s a daunting list when typed out in black and white. Here’s a partial list (in no particular order):
· Faith and Fun Day with the Archeparchy’s altar servers, including my annual outing to a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park.

· Pilgrimage 2020 on the grounds of Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa.
· Byzantine Catholic Day at Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa.
But maybe what hurts the most is not what I know I missed but what I didn’t know I missed.
When I look back at 2020, I fear there will be a more than seven-month void of memories stemming from people I didn’t see and places I didn’t go.

The last fun memory of the year I have was attending the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall near the end of February. It was a presentation of the film “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with
the symphony providing a live soundtrack.

Let’s pray the pandemic ends so we can start making positive memories again.

Well, this Thanksgiving will certainly be different from past years. I hope you are able to
gather with your family for Thanksgiving dinner but I’m sure it is an uncertainty for many people, as most every social activity has been in 2020.

I always look forward to watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on Thanksgiving morning but NBC announced it would be canceled this year and replaced with some type of virtual event. I’m not exactly sure what this “virtual event” will look like but it certainly won’t be the same as seeing thousands of people gather on the Manhattan streets leading to Herald Square.
One tradition that won’t change for me this year is my annual viewing of 1966’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on
Thanksgiving night.

On an ancient VHS tape, no less. I’ve always felt it has never received its just due when compared to its colleagues “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” But it is every bit the classic. If you don’t know the story, Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends Marci and Franklin to Charlie Brown’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

The problem is Charlie Brown doesn’t know how to prepare a turkey with all the trimmings so Snoopy (yes, Snoopy!) prepares a dinner consisting of popcorn, pretzel sticks, jelly beans and — my personal favorite — toast. Linus says grace before the meal: “In the year 1621, the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast. They invited the great Indian chief Massasoit, who brought 90 of his brave Indians and a great abundance of food. Governor William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish were honored guests. Elder William Brewster, who was a minister, said a prayer that went something like this: ‘We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.’.“

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!