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Monday of Holy Week - April 15, 2019

As a cradle Catholic born and raised in Brookside (St Elizabeth Class of '85), I am appreciative that the Faith Formation Team reached out to me for this year’s Lenten reflection booklet.  Like so many of us, my life at times is on overload.  The opportunity to reflect as the Lenten season approaches is an important and helpful thing for me to do as part of my faith journey. 

The part of my readings that stands out to me is found in the responsorial psalm: “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”  It continues, "When evildoers come at me...though an army encamp against me...though war be waged upon me, even then I will trust." This kind of faith has been particularly important (and necessary) for me as a Catholic.

As a St. Elizabeth parishioner for the first 30+ years of my life, although a very positive experience for me personally, being a parishioner there brought many challenges.  For St. Elizabeth was a hotbed for priest abuse before, during and after my time as a student.  What I have always found hard to accept is that many of the kids knew and often talked about the abuse, but the Great Wall of Catholicism was in full effect which meant teachers and parents were not about to let kids talk about a priest in any way that was not reverent. I pray the church leadership led by Pope Francis will finally make meaningful changes.

I struggled as a Catholic for many years when as a young adult I learned more about this issue of abuse, how close it hit to home and trying to decide how to react. However, I love being a Brookside Catholic "lifer" and cannot imagine leaving the church.  Even with the spotlight back on this issue, I am still proud and grateful to be Catholic. The main reason is because of you...fellow parishioners.  

Synergy: It means each part feeds off all the others, thus making a whole that is greater than the sum of the individual parts.  This is how I look at our church, the church I find in this parish community.  I am proud of what we do, day in and day out, as parishioners. I am proud of the way we educate our young as well as how we care for the poor.  I fully believe that the whole Catholic experience has been an amazing benefit to my life.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation" and the Catholic church in general, and my fellow parishioners, have been a wonderful conduit for me as they have made the Lord’s light and salvation real in my life.

Q:  How has the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal affected your own faith life?


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