Friday, October 26, 2007

Part of a Faith Family

This morning's school mass typified why I'm so in love with my parish. Every Friday morning, our school community celebrates mass together. I sat with some of my fellow moms this morning, since Adam was altar serving. Seated in the rear of the church, my heart swelled with gratitude at being a part of such a wonderful faith family.

Today's mass was very special for many reasons. Sadly, earlier this week we lost a dear friend - our first grade teacher Mrs. Ray. Sheree had begun the school year quietly fighting a battle against cancer and refusing to give in. The school brought in a team teacher to help her when it was apparent that she would only be able to work mornings due to fatigue and pain. In late September, she left her classroom when her pain and treatments made it impossible for her to teach. She vowed to be back and fought valiantly for the last month and half. On Sunday, during our 9:30 mass, we received word that she had died peacefully. Today's mass was dedicated to her memory - we will gather again as a faith family on Monday to celebrate her life at her funeral liturgy.

Today was also our Pastor's final school mass. He will leave on Monday to minister to a new parish. Our principal reminded us how Msgr. John has challenged each of us to dream big and to be better Christians every day. Msgr. leaves behind a legacy of new buildings, new computers, and new attitudes - he will be missed.

Also during Mass, we celebrated the baptisms of two children of one of our teachers. To be present at a family baptism is always a treat, but to celebrate our welcome of these two little souls into God's family on the day we were all missing Mrs. Ray so much was a special blessing. Somehow, the circle of life felt vivid and present in the glory of this sacrament.

I love my parish because it is my home, my faith home. I love the fact that we can gather in prayer to love and support one another in painful times, in goodbyes and in loss, and that we can lift one another's spirits when we celebrate joyously together. I love that we can gather as one in the Eucharist to nourish our souls and hearts in Jesus. I love that I am part of this family, the Body of Christ. Today, as on so many days, I realize that I am blessed beyond measure.


Anonymous said...

Darling Lisa, What a nice way for me to start a weekend: possessing a heart swollen with happines due to being blessed with a daughter like you. Love and misses, Dad

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

What a touching post. Our parishes are like extended families. I am so thankful to have so many wonderful people to share life (and sometimes death) with. It is good to belong to something bigger than yourself or your immediate family.

Shirley said...

thanks for a terrific reminder... in our parish, we no longer have the children at daily mass once/week and we also do not have baptisms during mass. Both activities I dearly love and miss. I do have hope we can work together to reinstate them, hopefully one day soon. Your post articulates beautifully why it is so important!

Angie said...

What a wonderful post! Reading your words, I could completely feel your love for your church. I too feel so blessed to be a part of my parish. Our church family is AWESOME and I look forward to spending time with them as much as possible.

I'm so sorry for your losses this week. I pray that GOD will ease your pain.