Since around Christmas, I’ve been back in the weekly church groove.
Throughout my life as a Catholic, I’ve had a hit or miss relationship with mass. As a child I was forced (because that’s really the only way children will wake up early on a Sunday) to go. Then there was a time when I could make my own decisions and opted for sleep instead of worship. In college, I found the groove again with a Sunday evening mass at the campus parish. Then it was back to sleep.
This back and forth has continued for the past few years until my mother started in on me about marriage. I’ve always felt I would be married in the Catholic Church, regardless of my relationship with a weekly mass. But as my mother reminds me, I can’t be married in one without being a member of one. She and my father are members of a local chapel, but for many reasons, it’s not one I would consider as the backdrop for my wedding.
There’s a church a few blocks away from me that I’ve known about for years, but now that I’m officially a downtown resident, I decided to check it out. And slowly, I’m falling in love.
It’s a diverse congregation, made up of little old ladies that have been going there for 50+ years, young professionals and young families, and the homeless population who simply seek warmth and quiet. They have a new music minister who is nothing short of fabulous, and even the building itself is the most unique church I’ve ever stepped foot into. You can check out photos here.
Anyway, for the past couple months, it’s been an enjoyable way to spend my Sundays. I’m now a member, so if I should get engaged someday soon, I have somewhere to get married.
More importantly, I’m also realizing that it’s become a great way to reconnect with my own faith. At this week’s mass, they had the introductory rites for adults seeking to become Catholic as well as the candidates for confirmation. I was confirmed back in 8th grade, but I can’t remember one thing about it. I took religious ed classes all through school, and went to a Catholic high school. And yet my knowledge of the Catholic faith would probably fall in the novice category.
Since St. Al’s really does attract all sizes and shapes, it seems to hold a place as a “teaching” church. After all my years of being taught, perhaps I’m finally ready to be a student.