A legacy that predates the founding of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, played out again recently: its parish picnic.

Parishioners attended the 30th annual recently, at the sprawling Mission Hills Park. Nestled in the McCullough Mountain foothills, nearly 1,000 people gathered for the parish event, which includes an outdoor Mass, food, games, raffle drawings and dancing. photo_1-21

“It showcases all the love, support and service we get from our parishioners,” says Amanda Dwyer, Life Teen co-director. “So many people volunteer, of all ages.”

Balloon TossThe collaborative effort included help from the Men’s Club, Women’s Guild, Couples’ Club, Parents for Life, More Youth and Life Teen clubs, as well as confirmation students all pitching in to lead various tables and activities.

“It’s a community-building event,” Fr. Pat Render says, “that began even before the parish was officially established in 1986.”

Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, presided at the Mass. He joined the parish recently as an associate pastor after serving the last eight years as president of  Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. Consequently, he went from overseeing a school of 1,000 students, faculty and staff to a bustling parish of more than 6,000 families.Fr. Mick mingling

“The people have truly been welcoming,” Fr. Egan said, “and that seems to be characteristic of the community here, and something that we build on and deepen whenever we gather.”