Western N.Y. Parish Celebrates Bonafest

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Bonafest, St. Bonaventure Church’s annual festival that marks the feast of its patron saint, took place here on July 11 and 12. 

The festival weekend, celebrating the church’s worship, witness and service life included awarding the Francis Medal to four members. It also included food and a variety of games.

“Bonafest continues to be an example of collaboration in ministry — everyone working together,” wrote pastor Richard Husted, OFM, in a letter in the 44-page Bonafest journal.

“Parishioners working together on the common goal of Bonafest continue to foster a sense of community, and those who gather for the festival can experience firsthand the spirit that motivates us as a faith community.”

This 22nd Bonafest was especially significant to the church, which also celebrated its 150th anniversary. Richard recalled in his letter the Franciscan spirit that is at the heart of the church’s ministry. 

Francis Medals were given to David McHenry, Francie Potter and Wally and Alice Parks. All have been longtime members and faithful servants of the parish. 

David McHenry
McHenry, a member for 20 years, is a Secular Franciscan. He spends hours helping the parish in a variety of ways, including being a Eucharistic minister, lector, leader of the children’s church, sacristan and event volunteer.

“For his dedication and tireless service in so many ways, he is a deserving recipient of The Francis Medal,” the Bonafest journal reported. 

Francie Potter
Potter, a church trustee for 16 years, participated in the transition team, providing insight in helping to craft a vision for the merger with St. John the Baptist Church. A Eucharistic minister, lector, ministry coordinator and representative to the Greater Olean Association of Churches, she is respected for her common sense and wisdom. She was honored for her uncommon contributions to the advancement and ideals of St. Francis of Assisi.

Wally and Alice Parks
The Parkses, members since 1963, are faithful to the church, each other and their family. Working together and praying together has kept their 67-year marriage strong, according to the Bonafest journal. They have been members of the choir, prayer groups and Bible study, as well as lectors and Eucharistic ministers. They pray the rosary daily and attend Mass as much as possible. Known around church as “mom and dad,” the Parkses were lauded for their faithful service. 

The Bonafest journal’s year in review noted significant church happenings, including the growth of parish ministries. Wedding photos of couples celebrating milestone anniversaries and congratulations ads from community businesses were also part of the journal.

The festival is scheduled every year near the July 15 feast of St. Bonaventure.

— Wendy Healy is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to HNP Today.