In conjunction with the parish’s ongoing celebration of its 150th anniversary, St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in O’Fallon will hold its annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Now in its 17th year, the festival offers food, fun and fellowship for the whole family in downtown O’Fallon.
“While our region and our church today include a classic melting pot of cultures and nationalities, many of the founders of our parish were first- and second-generation Germans, so our Oktoberfest is a fun tribute to that heritage,” said Father Jim Deiters, St. Clare Parish’s pastor. “With this being our sesquicentennial year, we’re especially proud that St. Clare has been a positive, faith-filled presence in the region through the years and can’t wait to celebrate our milestone anniversary with everyone.”
As a nod to the parish’s sesquicentennial, the Oktoberfest raffle will award five $150 cash prizes during the event, building to the final draw for $10,000 at the end of the night. The parish’s heritage is celebrated with a homemade, sit-down German dinner, imported German beers on tap, brats and pretzels plus other festival foods, wine and authentic Bavarian-themed décor throughout the grounds.
Highlights include the “Rennen and Weg” 5K run/walk with a shorter run for kids, basket raffle, bingo and other games of chance, family-friendly activities including the “I Dood It” game, pony rides, inflatables and face painting, and live music from John Spicer & the Fightin’ Side Band.
Events begin at 4 p.m. with the 5K run and continue until 11 p.m., when the big raffle prize is awarded. The dinner is from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the St. Clare School gym, while other festival foods and drinks will be available all evening. The band is on from 7 to 11 p.m. The festival is located at 3rd and Cherry streets in downtown O’Fallon.
Complete information on St. Clare’s Oktoberfest can be found at stclarechurch.org/ofest.
In honor of the church’s 150th anniversary, parishioners and guests of St. Clare Catholic Church will celebrate Mass in thanksgiving on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the parish church at 1411 Cross Street in O’Fallon.
St. Clare and its pastor Father Jim Deiters welcome Belleville Bishop Edward K. Braxton as celebrant for the 4 p.m. service. Numerous local church and civic leaders will also attend.
A light reception with refreshments and time for fellowship will follow. This sesquicentennial gathering also marks the 10th anniversary of the dedication of St. Clare’s current church, which took place Sept. 30, 2007.
St. Clare will dedicate and officially open a new neighborhood garden in the heart of its school campus on Third Street in O’Fallon during a ceremonyon Monday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.
Numerous O’Fallon civic leaders, including Mayor Herb Roach, will be in attendance, as well as staff and students from St. Clare School.
The new garden is located across the street from St. Clare School, directly east of the parish’s historic old church, which now serves as the school chapel. The garden features a narrow gravel path winding its way past small shrines containing images of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion called the “Stations of the Cross.” With dozens of fresh plantings of trees, shrubs and perennials, the space is filled with scent, color and, above all, serenity.
“As a companion and follower of St. Francis of Assisi, our parish patroness St. Clare shared the Franciscan spirituality that reveres God’s peaceful presence and harmony in nature,” noted Father Deiters. “As our faith community celebrates 150 years in O’Fallon, we are so pleased to offer a gift of beautiful green space for the entire community to enjoy.”
The garden will be open daily year round from dawn to dusk.
At 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, Mayor Roach will take time during the O’Fallon City Council meeting to present a proclamation honoring St. Clare Parish’s 150-year milestone. Father Deiters and many members of St. Clare Church will be present to receive this civic recognition of the parish’s historic significance to the city and region.