Brother and Sisters,

It has been the honor of my life serving you these past ten years on the St. Anthony Parish Council. We’ve accomplished a lot over the years, not the least of which was moving the Friday Fish Fry out of the church basement and into the gymnasium, an initiative I was privileged to lead.

But while our victories have been many during my term, our real work has only just begun. That is why I’m asking for your vote again next Sunday.

Many of you have no doubt become aware of the plumbing issue recently discovered in the sacristy toilet, a situation Father David referred to in his Tuesday homily as “a real test of faith.” My record on plumbing service is clear: Minton’s Plumbing Co. I am personal friends Martin Minton, and, if reelected, I promise to negotiate a fair deal for all, just as I did when I led the effort to relocate the Friday Fish Fry into the gymnasium (an initiative referred to as “a good idea” by Father David).

My opponent, Steven O’Conner, has yet to publicly address our congregation’s urgent plumbing needs, or much else of substance, for that matter.

I have not been blind to the shallow sensationalism of Steven’s campaign, however. I understand that he has gotten many parishioners’ attention with promises to add “more flavor options” to the communion wafers. But I believe I speak for most of us when I say that these are simply not the conservative values St. Anthony’s was founded upon. What is next, my friends? Dipping sauce? It’s simply not practical.

I also object to Steven’s hollow suggestion that we stop referring to our seating as “pews” in the bulletin because “it sounds too stinky.” Is that anyway to honor our founders, our traditions? I don’t think so. That is why I remain #propew.

Now, I’m afraid I must now address a more distasteful matter: I’ve recently been told Steven has been falsely claiming on Facebook that I have been trying to “suppress the vote” in this election. As many of you know full well, this is a lie (Lord, please forgive Steven). The truth is that I merely want our election to fairly reflect the wishes of the actual members of our dear parish. The direction and the future of St. Anthony’s should not be decided by vacationers or once-a-year-ers who happen to walk in one day because they’re “in the mood.” Too much is at stake for such lax voting standards, including Father David’s 30th anniversary celebration, plans for which have been going smoothly since Rosa Petri died (Lord, please forgive Rosa).

And if spreading lies on social media and opening parish voting to any random pagan wasn’t enough to disqualify him, brothers and sisters, let us face a difficult truth together: although Steven’s children Max and Lacey are lovely, they fidget during the liturgy. Do we want a parish councilman whose children fidget?

My friends, I believe your decision next Sunday is clear: empty bohemian gestures, or someone who focuses on the real work, like moving the Friday Fish Fry to a location with far better lighting and far, far less mold.

I would also like to remind you that I am the only candidate to be endorsed by Darlene Houk, whose Easter butter lambs speak for themselves.

A vote for me is a vote for stability, initiative and key plumbing connections in these difficult times. It is my honor to serve you.

And just a reminder, Steven: God is reading your social media, too.