Sunday, September 2, 2012

A New Church

We didn't leave in a huff. We quietly slipped off. We said, "We are taking a break" last July. Our thoughts were very jumbled about church for the next four months. We bounced from parish to parish feeling numb. Some days I even felt guilty that I couldn't find a way to fix it at St. James. I'd been playing the organ there (for free) for nearly five years. Playing for school mass on Fridays plus feast days and holy days and Triduum and all the Sundays in summer when Becky went to the Ozarks. Playing so the priest who couldn't sing would still feel connected to the people in the pews. Playing so my children would still feel tied to their faith community and to the worship of God.
But homeschoolers are never fully accepted at a place where there is a parochial school. Battles over sacraments, CYO ball teams, playground usage, field trips, and the proper starting time for 8:00 a.m. mass wore me out. So my husband decided "enough," and we quit--everything. I'm not a quitter. It was rough. Our family takes Catholicism very seriously. But what to do? I analyzed and prayed and worried. I rehearsed the arguments in my head. I decided to make a list of the various volunteer jobs I had taken on at that parish during the 12 years we were members. It was so long that it even surprised me. But not Captain, who believes in two-way streets.
Then one day my phone rang. Bryan asked if I would even consider coming to play organ for their tiny church, which had been without music for awhile. The next Sunday would begin Advent and many of the sung mass parts were changing to the new translation in the new hymnal. I wanted to be helpful, but  I did not make any long-term promises. Maybe it wasn't the answer I had been hoping for but I was trying to let the Holy Spirit guide.
Eight months later, we are still attending Seven Dolors Catholic Church with 28 other people. The priest is a fabulous preacher. The boys love his hunting stories and the fact he was an Eagle Scout. The congregation is friendly and appreciative. Best of all, they restored a piece of the old altar from 1960s -- after it was found decaying in an old barn. Last week, it was moved into place and holds the tabernacle perfectly. This week goldleaf paint was added to the altar so it also matches. Lovely!
These days I am striving for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

1 comment:

Lesa said...

And it's alright to continue searching. Means we are leaving what was and walking toward what He has for us. The 'search,' I suppose, points us toward life being about Him and not all about us.