Friday, April 29

Religious Clothing

Just an observation today. 

It always strikes me funny that if our pastor or Sister were in a store or wherever no one would know they were a priest or a nun based on how they dress.  Even sometimes at church they are not dressed in their "uniforms".

Sister always has on a nice shirt or sweater in any color.  And Father was sporting dress pants, shirt and sport coat the other day during rehearsal for the vigil.   :-)

Tuesday, April 26

Reflecting on Easter

This is the first time I fully participated in all that Holy Week had to offer.  In the past I had to work and didn't think much of going to church outside of the expected Sunday.

Since my eyes are wide open now I wanted to really take part in everything I could.  I was off work so there was no conflict for Thursday or Friday mass. 

We went to the potluck dinner prior to Holy Thursday mass.  It was nice enough but I don't know that I feel compelled to do that every year.  Time will tell on that one.  But mass was very moving.  I didn't get my feet washed but my 9 year old daughter wanted to and did.  I will definitely next year.  We were set to carry the Chrism oil and I had nylons on and I wasn't sure if I could get myself back together in time otherwise I think I would have done it this year too.  As the hosts were locked up and the incense placed it truly felt as if Jesus' presence was there more than ever. 

At the Good Friday mass it again was very moving.  I loved the Veneration of the Cross.  I couldn't bring myself to actually place my lips on it to kiss the cross but I did as many others did by kissing my hand and touching the cross.  And while you know it isn't the actual cross you feel like it is.

Then Saturday morning we had the rehearsal for the Vigil service that night.  My husband made his first communion and confirmation at the Vigil.  It was funny because Father told them first to please not burn him with their candles as he is anointing them.  But also that depending on his mood he will shake their hand or if he is feeling moved he may even hug them.  But of course my husband was first in line and nearly burned Father with his candle.  And no one got hugs.  I am not saying he is the reason but just that no one did.  Part of me was sad for them because I have really come to realize after Saturday that the hug was powerful for me.  That this man of God, one of God's teachers, felt moved as much as I was and passed on God's love in that moment.  As usual I am not explaining this properly but that is often the case when I feel emotional.  And of course there is the part of me that is nanna nanna boo boo to my husband for not getting that experience.  But of course that is the silly part of me.

This was the first time we attended the Easter Vigil at this church and probably the first time since I was an adult.  And I am hooked.  It was so incredible.  Starting outside in the dark with the fire and moving into the church with only the candle light.  And then the baptisms, communions, and confirmations.  All so amazing.

I even got up early and went to 8am mass on Easter Sunday.  Sister laughed when she saw me.  I told her that the people in my house woke up a bit crabby and then went back to bed so I decided to come to mass.  She laughed and said she is just going to give me the keys to open up next time.  It wasn't our regular Father for this mass.  I am sure he did the 10am and noon masses but that was ok.  I really missed his services but seeing him wasn't my reason for going.  I am just glad I sat closer than usual because this guy was so quiet it was a struggle to hear him.  I will definitely be going to the Vigil from now on. 

I can't believe it is all over already.  I was so excited to go to church that much and it went by so quickly.

I went home and began the Easter festivities at my house once all of the family came over at 10:30.  The weather was beautiful Saturday and rainy Sunday so all egg hunts and such were inside but we still had fun.

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 18

RCIA Meeting

We had our last RCIA meeting this past Saturday.

I had asked Sister a few weeks ago if I could bring a cake to share with everyone to thank the team and staff as well as congratulate all of us for becoming fully initiated catholics.

This is the cake I made and brought:

The lighting is really bad in this picture but it was all white and shimmery.  Everyone seemed to like it too.

Without their knowledge I also made goodie bags for everyone.  For Sister, Father, and D I made bigger, more personal bags for several reasons but since 2 of them are leaving the parish I wanted it to also be a going away gift.

The fun items that I included in every ones bags were:  a Jesus band aid (we swear they heal faster than any other), scripture mints, bible verse fortune cookies, religious bookmark, religious magnet, and chocolate crosses I made.

It was sort of sad for this group to end.  But it is exciting to see what the future will hold.

Thursday, April 14

Techy Church

I have been looking at several church websites in my quest for information.   Some are better than others obviously but I wonder if what I think makes a good website for a church is different than what others think would be good.

I like the more info there the better.  If there are committees than link them to a more detailed description of what the committee is, what their goal is and how they would like to meet it, who to contact if you can and are interested in getting involved, when do they typically meet, etc.  Rather than we have committee A.

Or if the church would like people to volunteer than give the people the proper tools to find out how to volunteer and all of the different possibilities. 

Since we are adopting the new Roman Missile in November why not link to that or at the very least give the info on your website. 

Details, details, details as far as I am concerned. 

I think if you provide the details on your own website people won't go hunting on the Internet for it.  You can control the accuracy of what people are reading a bit more if you give it to them.  Plus what an opportunity to reach more members of the church and get them excited to get involved. 

What about Facebook?  Should a church have an account?  I say why not as long as what is posted by the admins is relevant to the church.  Again, get the people notified and excited.  The younger people are the more into technology they may be and if you use that technology to reach them the earlier you can get them excited and motivated. 

Another thing I liked about one of the websites I saw was that it showed pictures of all of the parish staff and if you clicked on it you saw their "profile".  How to contact them, but also who they are, where they came from and their background, as well as fun hobby type tidbits.  Again, let the masses know you.  They may be more likely to approach you.

I have always felt a bit intimidated by the staff.  I know they know more about the church than I do and while that is OK the shy factor in me would take over.  I am really trying hard to break out of the shy factor at church and get to know people and get involved but it is somewhat frustrating since I can't find the info I am looking for and who exactly to contact. 

What about a church utilizing a blog?  Again, I think if done properly could be a great tool.

One website even records the pastor's homilies and puts those on the website.  I love that too. 

And pictures.  Put pictures of the different events or services out there.

So many possibilities.

What do you think about using the available technology outlets for the church and its mission?

Wednesday, April 13


Did you ever put yourself out there to others and then worry you are an annoyance?

You are so excited for whatever it may be but the others may not be on the same page?

That is how I am feeling right now.

Monday, April 11

Sunday Mass

I have a friend who was trying to sell her house.  She still is actually but she has stopped trying to buy a house until hers sells. 

At one point in November and December she had a bid in on a house and put hers on the market and it all happened so quickly.  She was extremely stressed out and was at the point of needing help for her stress.

She decided she didn't want any medications to help her with her mental well being.  She decided she would go to church daily.  At the time I remember thinking that was a great idea knowing her but I couldn't see going daily myself.

But now I would love to be able to go to mass at my church daily.  I don't know exactly what changed my perspective.  I still think how moving my confirmation was for me is what changed me so much.  I wonder if my husband will feel a fraction of what I felt when he gets his first communion and confirmation at the Easter Vigil service.

Yesterday we had mass, our RCIA meeting and was there for 2 hours and it felt like 2 minutes.  I was actually kind of bummed when it was time to leave.  Sister sat with us for the whole RCIA meeting and I was struck again how much I am going to miss her when she leaves.  At least we will still have Father there.  That is a saving grace!

I plan on going to Holy Thursday (and I would like to go to the potluck dinner before) mass at which point I will carry up the Chrism.  Boy I hope I do it properly and bow at the right time if I am supposed to and so forth.  But I digress, I also plan on going on Good Friday and then again for hours at the Easter Vigil.  If I still feel this enthusiastic after all of that than I know it isn't some fleeting feeling.  I suspect I will love it all.  Well except for the part where everyone will be looking at me carrying up the Chrism.

Friday, April 8


I have decided I am going to read the bible cover to cover.  It may take me forever to do it but I am.

I haven't read it like that since I was still in school.  Which seems like forever ago.  Funny thing is I have recently seen a guy at church who I used to hang out with (in a group of us) back in high school.  I haven't been able to catch up to him to see if he remembers me.  Plus I am always a bit shy in those situations. 

Back to the bible.  I have only gotten a little ways through Genesis and I can't believe I didn't remember that the early people discussed lived for hundreds of years each.  Crazy.

This is probably so not politically correct but if I am going to be honest about what crosses my mind I have to say this.   When someone is said to live for hundreds of years it makes you think immortality which then sends my mind to vampires.  Now make no mistake I am not saying in any way shape or form that people in the bible were vampires.   Because I am not saying that at all.  It is just that since I was a kid I have always liked a good vampire story and immortality links to vampire in my mind. 

Again totally out of context of what the real understanding (which I did absorb) is from Genesis. 

It is just funny how a persons mind works.  Just don't think less of me.  lol

Thursday, April 7


I want to explain a little bit about why now.  And to answer that question is very difficult.  I think there are many reasons I can think of and I am sure there are others that I don't even realize.

First, I just think this was God's time for me.  I have always wanted to have my confirmation but never did it.  Sometimes I didn't do it simply because I didn't want to take the time to go through classes and such.  Which is even the reason I inquired when I did.  I figured I had already spent all that time at the family classes for my daughters communion/confirmation that those should count for something.  They didn't but as it turns out I am glad they didn't. 

Since around last September we have pretty much had a weekly meeting after mass.  Some longer than others but all pretty informal.  I have made some great friends from those meetings. 

But back to the question at hand.  Why now... 
Even up to the day of my confirmation I was not prepared for how I would feel. 

After much reflection on that event I think all of my thoughts about our church and where it is today, our new pastor and how I love how he leads us, and the fact that I have always wanted to feel like I truly belonged to be there all came together in that moment.  Sister said it is the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Since I was young I always wanted a church where the pastor didn't just preach to you but could speak to you according to the times.  He does that.  He can quote a movie during a homily that I know and I think he found the spiritual meaning in a movie that I remember most for some of the stand out lines.  He is so in tune with the parish and how many are still struggling with the merger and the fact that he is there that he addresses this in a manner of grace.  I find him very inspiring and feeling like I should do more and be more.  Not because I feel pressure but because I feel inspired.  Haven't you ever met or seen someone who inspires you simply by being themselves? It is a rare quality that some people have to truly inspire others.  And I feel he has it and is able to inspire the congregation through God.  Believe me there are plenty of people who don't like him at all and tell him that all the time.  But most of those people are still mad that our prior pastor is no longer there.  And I understand that but I also think if our parish is ever going to be able to move forward those people need to let go of the hate and move back to why we are at church in the first place.

Sister that is there is simply amazing.  She is also a wonderful person who can relate to all of us.  You never feel like you are not up to par.  I speak/email with her sometimes several times a week.  She will sometimes say things and you think she is a nun she can't say that but that is very old school of me.  She is never disrespectful especially concerning faith.  But because of this merger she is leaving soon.  I cannot imagine our church without her but I am trying to focus only on the positive right now.  We will see once she is gone.  Change isn't always easy.

Why now?  I guess I don't fully know myself.  It just is.  For so many reasons.  More than I have even stated.  Maybe it is now thanks to the grace of God...

Monday, April 4

Being Catholic

Once again I can't believe how long it has been since the last time I posted anything here.  Almost a year is simply crazy.  I hope I will post more often since I have a focus for my posts more than ever.  I may still post about cakes or other such life stuff but I think my main posts will be about what I am learning about being Catholic and why now. 

It won't be preachy but more my very personal thoughts that I can't say to those I know in real life because they don't understand.  I don't know if anyone will ever really understand but I just needed an outlet for these thoughts even if no one reads them.

As a lot of places across the country have seen this past year there has been a lot of change in our church.  Some parishes have closed while others have merged.  And to top it all off the pastors have all been moved around.

I have been going to my church off and on since we discovered it 10 years ago.  We were welcomed with open arms at this parish and went consistently until my daughter was too loud and fidgety.  Once we were out of the habit it was difficult to start back up 3 years ago.  But we did and I am so grateful for that.  Last year she made her first communion and confirmation all at the same time.  In many ways I was soooo happy to have them both done at once.  It was great from a busy parent perspective but really she didn't learn as much as I had hoped she would.  While going through this with her I thought I should see about making my confirmation.  I had been baptized Catholic, first communion Catholic & Lutheran, confirmation Lutheran but never confirmed Catholic which is as an adult I chose to be. 

For the past year I had been working towards that and was able to convince my husband to make his communion and confirmation.  At the time I just didn't want to go by myself. 

This process has brought out more in me than what I ever knew to be there.  While all this was going on our church became the location of 2 merged parishes (ours and another), our pastor was moved out and a new pastor was brought in.  At first I was really upset that the previous pastor would not be the one to do my daughters 1st communion and confirmation since they changed 2 months prior to her sacraments.  But I decided to give the new guy a chance on his own merits. 

Also during this past year my sister finally was able to get pregnant and had twin girls.  And she asked me to be the godmother for the oldest.  I now had to speed up my process so that I could be a fully initiated Catholic by March 13th. 

I spoke to Sister about this and our new Father and we were able to perform my confirmation on March 5th.  I knew I already loved our new pastor better than our old and far better than I could have imagined but what transpired during my confirmation was something I was not at all ready for.  Something truly transformed in me during that mass.  While I was standing up there in front of the whole church all I could do was look at him.  I was too nervous with everyone looking at me.  And then at the end he gave me a hug that I say sealed the Holy Spirit and love for our church in me.  I really was changed and I wasn't ready for it to be such a powerful thing.  I thought OK, finally, I will have everything done.  At 41.  But it was so much more than that.

Over this past year I have really listened to his homilies like I have never before.  I have been searching for a church and pastor that I could completely relate and connect with.  I know I have found it finally. 

I am now obsessed with wanting to do more at the church, be more personally.  These are things I think about all the time now.  And things that I have tried to say on a small scale to people close to me but they don't really understand.  Even my husband is not understanding so here is where my rambling mind will express all that is in me. 

I think I will be posting quite often now....