Extreme Makeover provides some good guidelines for learning more about the how and why behind Catholic teachings, a clear delineation of what they actually are (when it comes to sexuality and the expression of it) and why these tenets of the faith aren’t going to change because of public opinion or popular trends…Learn more here.
Heading home, in a sense. Returning to Rochester, New York, where my grandparents, parents, and my husband and his family were all born and raised is a sort of homecoming for me as well. This is the one place my family and I have come back to year after year regardless of how far away we lived at the time. There have only been one or two summers in my entire life that I haven’t come back to Rochester for a week or two. Though it’s been years since my grandma sold her house to my uncle and aunt, and even quite some time since they moved out of it, the cottage Kevin’s family owns has been a home base of sorts for both Kevin and me.
Changes abound! Though much about Rochester is familiar and has a certain flavor that hasn’t changed much over the years, there have been some drastic developments and significant changes to the place Kevin grew up in and the one I returned to pretty much every year to visit family, friends, and vacation. Ontario Beach Park, aka, Charlotte Beach (pronounced without the “r” sound) have actually been cleaned up and are even prettier than when Kevin and I first met and would go walk the pier and spend time talking down there. Kodak country, as this city has been known for years, has dwindled to a mere remnant of what it used to be.
Holy Cross in Catholic Country Though the daily Mass crowd, age range, and dedication might look quite similar to what can be found in Richmond, Rochester has a whole lot more Catholic presence and quite a few more priests. Kevin and I were warmly greeted by Rosemary, who serves as the church mother at Holy Cross, when we came for Mass last Tuesday (and each day since). She is so excited we are back in town. Last year, she befriended us and was crestfallen to discover that we were just going to be at daily Mass here while on vacation, that we hadn’t moved here for good.
Marriage Encounter, Renewal Sought Coming back to Rochester brings with it a flood of memories from over the years. Recently many of the flashbacks that pop into my mind have to do with the early years of my relationship with Kevin, his dad, the real Harry Potter, and family. Sometimes when things get stressful and it seems far-fetched that certain situations will improve or be completely transformed, it’s easy to ask questions about the many trials and tribulations we’ve been through over the years and wonder what’s yet to come. I find myself taking long walks during which I ask questions such as: Why? What if? How? For what greater purpose? For whose ultimate benefit? go through my mind. It’s still hard for me to take the transformation God has brought about in and through Kevin and me and hold onto that as solid, sure promise that the metamorphosis will continue in amazing, healing, miraculous, and life-giving ways.
Now What, Lord?! As we take stock of where we’ve been and where we are, Kevin and I have been wondering what God wants of us next. Along the same lines of questioning is what have we done that’s made an impact, made some sort of difference in the lives of others, and how would God like us, as individuals and a married couple, to use our gifts and talents to grow closer to Him and one another.
Please pray for us as we discern what God wants of us in the different areas of our lives.
Lord, we would like to know what specific things and bigger picture elements You want us to be involved with in order that we might glorify You and bring others closer to You through the gift, the covenant, the sacrament of our marriage. Amen.