By the time you read this, we will have entered the beautiful season of Fall—the favorite of many.  It will be nice for our school community to have cooler temperatures.


         Might all eyes be on our new Wiedemann’s Brewery and Taproom this evening for the first (annual?) blessing and tapping of the keg to mark Oktoberfest, St. Bernard?  I feel honored to have been invited to do the blessing.


         I did some research and discovered that similar events are happening in cities all around the country. Another occasion for the blessing and tapping ritual is during Mardi Gras. In downtown Cincinnati, one of my Franciscan brothers does the honor at another pub/restaurant.  Did you know that there is an official Catholic Blessing of Beer in the Roman     Ritual:  “Bless, O Lord, this creature beer . . . that it may be a saving remedy to the human race . . . and that whoever shall drink it, may gain health in body and peace in soul.” All of God’s creatures are good in themselves and are meant to be respected and used or             interacted with in life-giving ways. Perhaps you know the beautiful prophecy in Isaiah about the Lord providing a feast of “rich juicy meats and pure choices wines” (Is. 25:6). And doesn’t Jesus, in his first recorded miracle in John’s gospel make certain that the newly married couple doesn’t run out of wine at their reception (Jn. 2:1-11)? 


         I noticed when looking on line for information about the beer blessing a photo common to a number of the sites: a Franciscan friar wearing a work apron and raising a flask of beer.  I understand that in the middle ages, the monks or friars, who were not allowed to eat solid foods during Lent, would drink beer for it contained needed nourishment.  St. Francis, who praised God for all his creatures, would be proud to have drawings of his friars pictured with beer.  The only problem is that the friar in the drawing is heavy set.  I can’t identity, can I?


         Individuals have told me they find it hard to go into Wiedemann’s because of their memories of a loved one being laid out there. I completely understand.  But perhaps if they realize that their loved one is now enjoying that feast of “pure choice wines” and is in the company of the one who made the extra wine for the newlyweds, it might be easier for them to enjoy the establishment.


         Happy Fall, dear friends!