It was the fall of 1995 and Sean and I were on our first date. I had never even set foot in a Catholic Church until then. It was a Saturday evening and I thought Sean and I were going out to dinner. I was so excited to be with Sean this day, and then he pulled in the parking lot across the street on Douglas, and I said, ‘What are we doing?’ he said, ‘We were going to Mass’. I am thinking Mass…What’s Mass? And I am in jeans, are you crazy? Not to mention, I was hungry. Little did I know I was hungry for a different kind of food; spiritual food.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is the first church I ever really felt that I was at home in. I remember being taken in by the church as I entered into it for the first time, the statues, the Crucifix and the stained glass windows were all so beautiful. I was so nervous. I didn’t feel worthy to even be there. But as always, God has a plan.
I admit I didn’t know much about the Catholic faith, as I was raised in a protestant church. I actually attended several different churches growing up as a child with many denominations, from Methodist to Holy Spirit Gospel Churches that my Grandparents took me too. I didn’t understand anything Catholic.
I guess what really took me in at that special Mass, Saturday evening and made me curious about the Catholic faith, was just one little part of the Mass. It may have been a little part of the Mass, but I will never forget it. It was the General Intercessions and the Prayers of the Faithful. You know, it’s that part of the Mass, were we all say, ‘Lord, hear our prayer’. Well, as a child, I always asked God to ‘Hear my prayer’. And when everyone started saying it together, I felt something I never felt before and it was amazing.
From that point on, I became very curious about the Catholic faith. I asked Sean so many questions; I think he became annoyed to a point. I asked questions, he didn’t have answers too. This started my quest to find out what Catholics believed and WHY they believed it. Sometime after attending Mass on a regular basis as a Non-Catholic, I entered into RCIA Classes. I needed answers quick. But RCIA is a process though; a process of learning the faith in great detail. I remember attending these classes, then coming home to Sean and I just talking about our faith for hours on end; what he believed and what I believed and what a journey that was. We learned so much about each other spiritually during this time.
We learned so much about each other spiritually during this time.
“IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on December 4th 1998 right where my journey began four years earlier. Monsignor John P. Gilsenan officiated not only my baptism, but my sacred marriage to Sean as well. I received four Sacraments that Holy Day, Msgr. Gilsenan told us. He said in his lengthy vocation of fifty years as a priest, he had never instituted four Sacraments at once. I felt very honored and blessed, not to mention spirit filled. I received the Sacrament of Marriage, Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Many other delightful events happened at Blessed Sacrament. Our children received their Baptisms, First Holy Communions, First Confessions, Confirmations and a Marriage took place as well. It was wonderful how God blended our family and it continued to grow. Our children also attended Catholic School here for seven years. Many wonderful friendships were forged, not only for our children, but for Sean and me too. It’s those kinds of friendships that only the Holy Spirit could have been directly involved in and still very much cherished today.
Many miracles and answered prayer happened here too.
Many miracles and answered prayer happened here too. Many Rosaries prayed on bended knee. Many tears were shed, many thankful prayers prayed. It’s a kind of love that is too deep to be put into words. I learned to develop a love and devotion to our Mother Mary too. Sitting on the left side of the church in front of Mary was our family’s favorite spot in the pews.
It’s a wonderful feeling to be loved and accepted, a place away from home to call home. A place to run too, when you felt you had nowhere else to go. This is what Blessed Sacrament offered our family for a good part of our lives. I will always be grateful to God for guiding Sean and I and our family to His to Holy Church at Blessed Sacrament.
Blessed Sacrament will always be a special part of my heart, my life and my memories.
Photos credit: The Church of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church