Thankful for church – a second family, home

“What time is Mass at St. Leo’s on Saturday?”

In the past my mother has called and asked me that question. She might have been in town for shopping or some social event and wanted to attend Mass before returning to Granville. The church I attended when I lived there has since been closed.

I know the answer to her question and can tell her those Mass times. Church for me is more than a place to go; it’s a place where I belong. I know many of the people who attend the 8 a.m. Mass where I am a part of the choir and announce the songs that will be sung. They ask where I’ve been when I’ve missed Mass and they didn’t hear me announce the songs.

In today’s world, some people say attendance at a Saturday/Sunday worship is difficult. There are many excuses. People might say “It’s the only day I get to sleep in,” “I don’t get anything out of it” or maybe “I’ll give it a try again, someday.”

When I was younger and still living at home going to church wasn’t a choice. On Sunday mornings the entire family went to church. It wasn’t an option, unless one of us was sick terribly sick. I admit there were times when I would have much rather have slept in.

After I graduated from high school and moved away I had the choice of going to church or not going to church. Yes, I admit, I chose not to attend Mass for a few months. I’m sorry Mom. I just had to give it a try.

It didn’t take long before there was a sense of emptiness. I knew what the emptiness was and found a church I wanted to belong to. I became a registered member at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Minot and got involved.

There was no question of where I would be married. It would be in St. Leo’s. When our son was baptized he was baptized in that church and my husband’s funeral was in that church. When it’s time for my funeral I would like it to be in St. Leo’s. The people who attend St. Leo’s know who I am; so do the priests. I am blessed to have a church family.

Churches are more than a place to go to worship on a Saturday or Sunday; churches are a place for baptisms, confirmations, First Communions, weddings and funerals.

When it comes time for an important event in your life will you have a “home” for the celebration?

Loretta Johnson is religion editor at The Minot Daily News.