Monday, November 18, 2013


I was born and raised a Catholic.
I'm sure I've alluded to that fact now and again on this blog, most likely poking fun at some of the dogma that is stereotypical of the Catholic Church. The truth is I joke about it because I've had a hard time with it the last 5 years or so. Mostly, to be blunt, a result of the combination of the child-abuse scandal and the church's views on same sex marriage. It's easy to lose faith when there's so much hate, so many excuses, and so much intolerance.

If any one single thing has restored my faith in Faith itself, and in the church community- it's been my dad's heart attack. It's hard to not look at, and admire, someone with as much faith as he has. He's a man of quiet faith.. we never really talked about it outside of school and/or church, so I never realized how deeply held his beliefs were until later in life.

My dad works as a custodian at our church and the affiliated grade school, where I went. (I don't know why I feel the need to tell you this, likely because I'm proud and defensive of my dad: he was a fiber optical engineer at Qwest for 25 years and was let go in favor of a younger employee about 10 years ago- he jokingly calls this his retirement job). Our family has been a part of the church for as long as I can remember, but my dad has remained a more integral part of it with these younger generations since my brother and I have been gone, through his job.

I thought I knew all my dad's friends. I truly did. He doesn't lead a wild social life, he's pretty low key, so I thought I knew them all. I was wrong. The number of emails I've received from people asking to help, many of whom I don't recognize at all, is astounding. These are largely, mostly, church people.

The point of this specific post though... stewardship. My dad is a member of the church's Men's Club, and they reached out pretty early on to let me know if  we needed anything, to just ask. We haven't had as much work as we've had people asking, so a few of the guys asked about donating money. I was VERY hesitant to accept any, because truthfully his medical bills are covered by insurance for the most part, minus a decent sized deductible... and we think (and are in the process of finding out) he's got some decent disability pay, so he'll really be "ok" through all the time off he'll need. One of the officers reminded me though, and it's good to be reminded, sometimes people just really need to feel like they've helped. So, I set up one of those fundraiser websites for my dad, thinking it'd be nice if we could at least cover his deductible for him, if anything. Aside from emailing it to the Men's Club, and sending the link to a small chain of family on Facebook whom I'd been keeping updated on my dad, I haven't promoted it at all.

The email with the link went out to the Men's Club this morning,... a mere 7 hours ago. We're nearly halfway to our "goal", the deductible amount, already. I'm blown away. I don't know how to separate whether this is a testament to my dad, and what an incredible person he truly is, or a testament to our Catholic Church, and how much they support their own-- and knowing my dad I'm not sure they can be separated.

I do know that this has helped restore my faith. My faith in humanity, in people.. and in Faith itself.


  1. I am so happy that one. the church people are reaching out and helping and two. that it is helping you to maybe see God again.

  2. This gave me goosebumps. Such a neat testament of how amazing people are.

  3. This gives me chills. I too have struggled with Catholic faith, and what an amazing testament to people who want to help.

  4. I too have struggled with the Catholic Church for the exact same reasons. I loved this post...thank you for sharing. It good to know stuff like this when one does struggle with the church.

  5. That is fantastic! And I hear ya on the struggling thing too. I'm not Catholic (I'm Lutheran and was raised in a very liberal church) and it wasn't until I was a teenager that I learned of all the hate associated with Christianity. Thatcher is athiest and it's taken many years to convince him that there is good in the churdch. Ps. My best friends Dad is a Custodian at a school too and he arrived at that job under very similar circumstances!

  6. I also have struggled so much growing up in a Catholic church for similar reasons. Thanks for sharing this, it's nice to hear the good that goes around these days!

  7. So many people struggle with their faith growing up, but I fully believe that's part of learning what's important and God's ever lasting love. I've had some struggles, but I've been able to keep my faith and it is what makes me who I am and helps me get through the bad times. Turning to someone greater than me and someone who I fully believe has my best interests at heart keeps me strong.
    His love is pure and He is truly the truth, the way and the light :)!

  8. I love this post. I remember when my grandfather died, my parent's pastor came to the wake - a 6 hour drive. I remember being pleasantly surprised - who would do that? It's one thing to go to the wake of a family member of someone in your congregation when they're in town but a 6 hour drive?! When my other grandfather died, he did it again. It always meant so much to me. I started attending his church a year & a half ago (my grandfathers died a decade ago) & it is so full of people like that - people who are always willing to help. I want to be like that too.

    That is wonderful what you have found. There are things the church does or says that truly angers me - mainly the way they harshly judge others & they way they treat other people. But they do take care of people! I am so glad they are reaching out to you & your family while all this is going on w/ your dad. Been praying for him, btw!