SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Due to what the priest administrator and the parish festival committee call a “disturbing message,” the Our Lady of Grace Parish Festival has been canceled.
According to the diocese, an office in the Diocese’s Pittsburgh Pastor Center received a handwritten letter that they say read “Cancel August 14-17 Festival Security Problem is Huge.”
“The events of the last two weeks, in El-Paso and Dayton, have to be considered, Father David Bonnar of Our Lady of Grace said.
The only parish scheduled to hold a festival those dates was Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township.
Despite no direct threat, the letter caused concern among the committee and Father Bonnar, the priest-administrator.
“There was no question, this had to be canceled,” Diane Seybert of the festival committee. “There are too many children and families that attend this festival every year.”
When the letter was received, they immediately notified law enforcement and the sender has not been identified so the decision was made to cancel the festival.
“The loss of income to Our Lady of Grace Parish and School, and to vendors who were scheduled to work at the festival, pales in comparison to the loss of lives in Dayton, El Paso, Squirrel Hill and too many other places,” the Diocese said in a letter. “The Diocese supports the decision to not risk becoming another name in that tragic litany.”
The festival earns around $50,000 to help the parish and the school.