My Faith, My Heart, My Home - South Dade News Leader: Opinion

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My Faith, My Heart, My Home

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 11:59 am

As I sat at mass this past Sunday thoughts raced through my head like a runner sprinting to the finish line. I was listening to the homily but then I glanced around, and my mind just took off. Memories began to swirl in my head.

In 1975 I came to Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a young 20-year-old, newly married, non-Catholic and soon to be expecting our first child. I was in the process of becoming a convert as my husband was Catholic and I was impressed with such a strong faith that his family shared.

I attended Sunday mass at Sacred Heart and sat behind a woman named Geraldine Champney. After mass, she turned around and said I should sing at the church. She explained she was the CCD Director and I volunteered to help her with office work. That work didn’t last long as I soon began teaching music to the CCD students every Sunday. This was my first involvement with Sacred Heart and I ended up volunteering with that program for approximately 30 years.

In the meantime, I also became involved with the Sacred Heart Woman’s Club of which I am still a member and I have served at least 4 terms as President of the Club. From there I went on to serve as Treasurer for the Miami Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women.

I continued to volunteer at Sacred Heart and worked in the kitchen at Bingo for years, often taking my little ones with me until Mr. Wonderful picked them up after work. I became a Eucharistic Minister. I created and continued until three years ago when it became unmanageable for just a few people, The Giving Tree at Christmas. I continue to do Soup with Soul on Wednesday nights during Lent. I served as President of the Finance Council. Very rewarding projects that fill my heart with joy when I think about them.

Over the years, I have seen many priests come and go as well as parishioners. Priests and parishioners became close friends so no matter what, Sacred Heart is where my heart is. Back in the late 70’s I began to cantor the 8 a.m. mass. For those non-Catholics, I would stand up front and lead the music. I did this by myself for years with different organists. Personally, cantoring has been one of the most rewarding volunteer jobs.

As I sat at mass and thought about my history at Sacred Heart, a lump formed in my throat and I had to suppress the tears that were ready to spill over. I’m leaving something that I have been a part of for so many years. It is where I feel comfortable. It is where my heart has been. It has been my home. It is where I have strengthened my faith and cried out to God.

We have baptized our three children at Sacred Heart. We have watched them receive their First Communion and Confirmation at the church. I watched as Mr. Wonderful walked our daughter down the aisle to her waiting fiancé to be married. We have watched three of our grandchildren be baptized at the church and one made his First Communion there.

Perhaps the crucial aspect of belonging to the parish is the fact that this is where my faith has grown. Walking the road to Emmaus, I have fallen on my knees in front of the cross. I have cried out to God at Sacred Heart when diagnosed with appendix cancer. In that church, I have celebrated the lives of many friends who passed on. I kneeled and prayed during my parents’ journeys home to the Lord. I have thanked God in that church for the many blessings he has given to me.

Yes, the tears come. How will I move on? Will I find a new home for my faith?

Making a big move later in life is certainly trying. Not only have we moved from our physical home but now we are moving from our faith home as well.

On March 24th at 8 am mass, I will cantor for the last time at Sacred Heart. How will I move on? I believe with faith. I will rely on God to see me through and find us a new home. Yes…we will have faith.

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