I was flattered by Joanne’s request that I write a brief note about my thoughts on our church and its congregation for this month’s newsletter. In that request, she asked me to discuss my faith, my relationship with Jesus and my experience as a member of St. Mary’s Congregation.
To do what she asked, I needed to start by briefly describing both my religious past and its present status. Thus, I will begin with my faith which is a relatively recent development. Since high school, I had been an agnostic and religion in general had not interested me. As an aging adult, this disinterest disappeared. I joined the Catholic Church five years ago while living in North Dakota. The person who did the most to influence my conversion to the church was interestingly enough a close female friend named Mary! I was attracted to the church because I saw how beautifully faith had affected Mary’s Catholicism. Her faith in God, her commitment to follow the teachings of Jesus, I was convinced, had made her into a remarkable person: a caring, committed, dedicated Christian. I very much admired what she was and I wanted to be like her. Hence to follow her example, I joined the Catholic Church. That decision was, I firmly believe, one of the best choices I have ever made.
Joanne’s last suggestion for me to address, specifically my experience in and with our congregation, has been similarly positive. Besides gladly attending Mass and other church gatherings, I have joined our Saint Vincent de Paul Society group. As with faith and the teachings of Jesus, the Saint Vincent de Paul gatherings have been for me uplifting and inspiring. From the beginning, the group’s members have been both kind to me and encouraging. In that group, which meets twice monthly, I learned about and experienced what Christian charity meant. I learned this not only from my participation at home visits to help the suffering, but also from our meetings. For in each meeting, we spend a portion of our time considering what true charity involves and how to express or deliver it. I find the whole process of learning how to be a “Good Samaritan” both appropriate and inspiring. As with my friend Mary’s example of faith and her belief in the teachings of Jesus, the St. Vincent group’s charity practices have made me both proud to be a Catholic and an appreciative member of our St. Mary’s Congregation.
Church and Jesus
by: Gabriel Williams, age 5
son of Tom and Kristina Williams
What do you like about going to church at St. Mary’s? Bible stories, friends and family, music, and Zoey (Zoey is Gabriel’s sister who is in heaven.)
What’s your favorite song at church? Go Make a Difference
What does church help us with? To learn Jesus.
What do we know about Jesus? He’s nice. He is a priest. He died on the Cross because they arrested him. He’s my friend.
What do you talk to Jesus about? Zoey
What do you know about heaven? There is no sickness, no nothing.
It’s nice and beautiful.
Do you pray? Yes About what? Bless Mom and Dad,
aunts and uncles, and my friends.
And what do you want to be when you grow up?
Archeologist, paleontologist, priest, pilot,
a tuba player, policeman and a fireman.