An Allegheny County parish has canceled a festival that was scheduled for this week because of what the diocese is calling a “disturbing message.”
The Diocese of Pittsburgh Pastoral Center received a handwritten letter in July that said ““Cancel August 14-17 Festival Security Problem is Huge.” Only one parish, Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township, Allegheny County, was scheduled to hold a festival on those dates, according to the diocese.
Although there was no direct threat, the letter raised concern due to the recent chain of mass violence around the nation. Father David Bonnar, the priest-administrator, was immediately notified, and he in turn contacted law enforcement. The sender has not been identified, so Bonnar announced Tuesday that the festival has been canceled.
In an emailed statement, the diocese said that “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 supports the decision not to risk becoming another name in that tragic litany. But we mourn the loss of carefree community that should be the hallmark of these joyous events. “