Journey through Lent 2019 at St. Anthony's
April 11, 2019

These readings make me think of my own spiritual walk. My family did not go to church. My father for most of his life was an agnostic and my mother was raised Catholic. Most of my family believed in God, it was just not on their list of priorities. Over the years, I attended many different churches with friends. The one that held my attention the most was the Catholic Latin Mass. In 1960, I married a Catholic, but we were not allowed to have a Mass because I was not a Catholic. In my mind this cheated my husband because he could not receive one of his faith’s sacraments. We raised our children Catholic. 

As I got older, I found myself needing more in my life. I felt guilty because my husband did not attend church. It seemed to me that something was drawing me to church. If I was upset about things, I found great comfort in going to St Anthony and enjoying the closeness of God and the peace that it brought me. I did that for several years. I always felt that my prayers were answered.  When I lost my parents, I told my husband that I was going to join the church. Tom joined me in the RCIA classes. These classes changed my life.
In 1991, I was baptized, confirmed, and made my first communion all at the same time. The emotions I felt was indescribable. I would go to church and look up at the crucifix and start tearing up. I truly believed that I had been reborn in the eyes of Jesus Christ. I wish I could say that I have been a perfect Catholic, but I haven’t. I know God is love and will help me in my journey to become stronger in my chosen faith.

Like Abraham I feel that I have been given not monetary riches, but peace. I do have a sense of belonging that I had never had before. I made a difference in my husband’s life because he returned to church. I also received an amazing gift when all our children stood up with me to become a member of their religion. All of these things were so wonderful, but the icing on the cake was when our oldest granddaughter, Trisha, asked me to be her sponsor when she was confirmed. It made me humble to realize that life is truly a circle and we do make a difference in this World with the faith of God on our side for now and forever.

Ginny Carpenter
St. Anthony Parishioner (and co-facilitator of the Grief Group)