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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast Day Mass and Groovin' in the Grove 2023

After a three year break for COVID, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish held the next in line of what is reportedly one of the (if not the) longest-lived parish festival in Pueblo.

Organizers began meeting in January of this year with their Pastor, Fr. Don Malin, to plan for this great event. There were many ideas floated for a theme such as "We're Baaaaack" and "Goovin' in the Grove", the second being the final choice.

Jose Cornejo and Ron Martinez, and Tere Cornejo are well experienced at putting these events on because over the decades they have been involved - some from their youth. Fr. Don began promoting Music Events in California for his parish in Mountain View and as a professional musician, experience which he leant to the project.

"I really didn't see it was my part to be in control of the planning or execution of the plans. I just wanted to see what I could do when asked, Fr. Malin said.

And "see" he did. He was able to pull levers on the business side by bringing online a credit card point of sale device with the bank and training the employees and volunteers on how to use it. Fr. helped coordinate with both Ron Martinez of the Mount Carmel Society and Jesus Chavira of the Knights of Columbus in working with a long time parish relationship with an Electrician and the Power Utility. They also got a couple of Knights to work with a parishioner who was a Painting contractor to put a fresh face on the Church by working on the windows and painting the connecting structure between the Church and the Rectory.

The Festival began with the Bilingual Mass celebrated by Bishop Berg, with Altar Servers, Musicians, Liturgical Ministers and the faithful. All joined the procession led by the Virgin of Mount Carmel on a decorated "arco" around "The Grove." Bishop Berg, Fr. Don Malin, and Deacon Mike Sanchez under the canopy carried by the servers and who were flanked by the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Honor Guard.

Jim and Joe Koncilia brought one of their family traditions, "Lupine beans" which their family used to sell at the festivals in years gone-by back to the festival. Of course, the Velaquez's secret Lady Fingers recipe was a hit, the Street Tacos Kora sold well. Elotes, Hamburgers, "Klobasy", Popcorn, the Cakewalk, Pickles, the Raffle, and of course the beverages were strong revivals of the old Mount Carmel Festival.

"This was the most successful festival financially that I have been involved with in my time as a pastor," Fr. Malin noted, adding that "The Community came together as one, showing their commitment to their parish and building up the spirit unity that we have been praying for since my coming to the parish. "We are all so proud of this effort.

Rev. Don Malin, Pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pueblo

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