Family Ties

24 May
The Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota

I love the smell of home. You know, the spaghetti and meatball, dad’s worn sweater, wet dog collar on the ground kind of smell. It’s the comfort and routine, nostalgia and simplicity. I can talk to people with whom I’m comfortable. I even whine to my mom every once in awhile about things that really don’t matter. It’s just so great, isn’t it? My gift of playing superheroes with my nephew is complemented by my brother’s gift to grill and my sister’s even-keeled eldest child persona. And my mom? She’s the selflessness that has always made it possible.

This is not the only place in my life where I find the same welcoming consistency. The local coffee shop does wonders for me. It makes me feel like I’m at home even though I don’t know anyone. I can work there and fill up on hot-brewed, energy inducing deliciousness. I fill my role as worker-bee consumer and the barista fills his as amazing provider of perfection-in-a-cup.

As a Catholic, I can’t help but think of my parish home when tossing around these “home is where the heart is” thoughts. In the life of faith, the parish is where I had my beginning at Baptism. Throughout the years, I was nurtured, cared for, and brought up through the many wonderful priests and lay ministers in the parish family. I continue to receive the endless mercy of the Lord through Reconciliation and am nourished through the Eucharist at Mass. My parish is truly my home away from home.

I remember one awful day in high school. I felt hopeless about a teenaged woe. My aimless driving tour of the Twin Cities to clear my head led me to the 24-hour Adoration chapel of my parish. I poured out my little teenaged sorrows to the Lord, truly present in the Eucharist and went home, a little more at peace and hopeful in the Lord’s hand in my life.

The parish is the center for my spiritual growth. It is there that I find countless opportunities to become a better woman and a better Christian Catholic. And, to top it all off, I am able to do all of this in the midst of a visible family who supports me through it all.

Thankfully, here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, we have an abundance of rock-star parishes. All have a little bit of a different feel and unique opportunities for spiritual growth. Because of this, we have decided to start something fun: a Parish Plug series of our blog—theheartofthematterblog.wordpress.com—with a different Featured Parish. Check it out and let us know if there’s any specific area of the Archdiocese that you want to see covered.

Basilica of Saint Mary's in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Interior of the Basilica of Saint Mary’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota

-Gretchen Sonnen

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One Response to “Family Ties”

  1. Jason May 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Let me knwo if you need help getting pictures of each of these churches around the cities! I would be happy to go and take some for you if need be. I live in the western suburbs

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