Why We Choose Epiphany
It's Sunday morning. We wake our family and prepare for Church. Where do we go? Most, will go where they've always gone. Some, don't have a place to call home and continue to search for the perfect place. I often find myself looking around, prior to Mass, to see all the faces. I'm not taking notes on who is there or who isn't but, more trying to figure out why all these people chose to come to Epiphany and why they chose that specific mass to attend.
My family and I moved to Bloomington in 2014. We were in the middle of a church hiatus, so to speak. Both my husband and I were searching for something or someone to speak to us. I had no idea that those words were not in a figurative way. JB was 11 and Stella 1. JB was active in sports and we found ourselves making new friends on the ball field. I asked one of the moms if she knew of any teenager girls who babysat. Minutes later her daughter Riley came out to the game. Riley quickly became part of our extended family. It wasn't long before we were asking her where we should be sending our kids to school Epiphany slid out of her mouth quicker than I can say I want a carton of ice cream. She let us know that Epiphany was known for their sports and if we wanted our boy to be a part of a winning team that Epiphany was where we needed to go. I should state, she added that the teachers are caring and that it is a Blue Ribbon School.
I talked to Chris and we made an appointment to meet Mr. Lootens and tour the school. It was a match! Our kids would attend Epiphany Catholic School. But we were left still trying to decide on what we were going to do for church. Epiphany offers a discount to parishioners so it seemed the obvious choice would be Epiphany Parish. Does someone really pick a church simply to get a discounted rate on education?
I remember pulling up to Church for our first Mass with Epiphany. I found myself nervous. Why was I nervous? Have you ever really thought about how intimate Church is? I believe when I walk through the doors, that is the barest I can be. You are stripped of who you are because you are humbled enough to know how you got here. But that's a message for another time.
Upon entering the Pew we genuflected and then began to pray. I typically say the same things. I try to make sure that I hit every person each week so that God truly knows how Thankful I am for them, health, happiness, etc. For whatever reason I started reflecting on some negative thoughts and feelings which I have in my heart. I asked God if he could help me in destroying them. Pretty big task at hand but you know, I'm a go big or go home kind of gal. It's Catholic Mass, they are all the same. You pray at the same time, kneel at the same time, take communion at the same time. The only difference between churches are the Priests and his Homily. Not really a huge deal, right? For me they were all blah blah blah This is exactly why I personally was on a hiatus. The message of the week was about forgiveness. Coincidental!?! I'm really not sure. But then he spoke... Remember how earlier I said that when you enter the doors you are the barest you can be. I didn't know that, until Father Eric's Homily He has this way of taking a message and making it as if no one else is in the room. Its like you and him are sitting down having coffee and hes talking right at you. I found myself tearing up. What the heck is happening? I'm not a crier and I am definitely not one to cry in church No message could be that profound....At the time I was still trying to figure out if he was speaking to me and if so how in the heck did he know what I was praying for. Helloooooo weren't you just speaking to God. Isn't he a man of the Lord.... Don't you think that he got his cues from you know, the Big Man....
Traditionally, Father Eric starts his Mass by welcoming his parishioners and gives a special welcome to those visiting. I appreciated the acknowledgement. It reinforced that Epiphany was a place genuinely wanting new comers and hoped that they would come back. Which brings me full circle. Why do we choose Epiphany and why do we choose certain Mass times. Each month I will be featuring a different family, from different Mass times, in hopes to get a better understanding of our church family. Each of us has a different story and I believe that if we share Why, we can share with our new comers or others that may be on their own Church Hiatus, what brings us together as a Parish Family.