Although I was baptized, took 1st communion and was confirmed, my parents were not practicing Catholics so it held little meaning for me until my husband and I began dating in high school.  He and his family were very strong Catholics and as the years progressed and we were married I too began attending weekly mass.  I won't say I had a sudden revelation, I didn't but gradually my faith grew and now 40 some years later I consider myself a strong, practicing catholic.  Indeed, it is my faith and belief in God that has carried me through everything that life has so far thrown at me and He has given me the gift to realize what miracles he has bestowed upon us.  When my husband had to undergo open heart surgery in London, Ontario which was a complete cure I didn't know how I would fly him home but the Catholic Women's League, of which I was a member, knew my fears and gifted me with a large enough cheque to do just that.  They brought him home.  Whenever things looked a bit bleak for us financially, somehow we always made it through.  When our son was in a car accident that completely crushed his car and should have killed him, he walked away without a scratch.  Of our 6 grandchildren, 5 have had medical issues.  Three have had surgeries which cured the problems and the our youngest, who was born last summer with, we were told, permanent mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears showed marked improvement  at her last hearing test. We to pray for her sister who has many allergies, one of which is life threatening for her but are confident Hen will someday relief her of this burden.  Without Him we would have nothing.  We are blessed and I thank him every single day.

-married, mother and grandmother


" It could be said that my being a Catholic was an accident of birth.  My father was a Catholic from birth while my mother converted to Catholicism to marry my father.  While I could have been born into a family in any of the plethora of religions, or in no religion as the case may be, I am thankful to the good Lord for the wondrous gift of being born into a Catholic family.  In my youth I attended Catholic schools and was an early morning altar boy for a number of years.  At one stage I felt called to the priesthood but falling deeply in love with a young lady changed those aspirations and I became more oriented towards a secular career.  When I left home and moved to another city, I confess to having been a less than ardent Catholic with several failed romances and sporadic church attendance.  As a young lad, my eternal destination was a far off thing which didn't occupy many of my thoughts.  However, the spark was not extinguished and eventually my love of music and church organs brought me back to church on a regular basis.  I played the church organ for more than 40 years but lacked a meaningful prayer life until I encountered a lady stigmatic who jolted me into a deeper and more committed relationship with my Lord and Saviour.  By this time I was married and had a daughter and son.  Still, thoughts of my salvation were not a major concern as well they should have been.  My epiphany was not sudden, but there was a growing realization that I was in the twilight years of my life and my Catholic religion took on a whole new meaning and animus.  To be blunt, I felt I had to choose between a smoking or non-smoking reservation for eternity in the next world!  I realized that the wondrous gifts of the Catholic Church gave me the means and opportunities to begin a real and meaningful journey of faith.  Jesus founded His Church and gave us the sacrament of Baptism to mark us as Christians and set us on the road to our salvation.  He gave His apostles and their successors, our ordained priests, the power to forgive sins in the great Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Jesus instituted the Eucharist through which we receive His Sacred Body and Blood in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  He gave us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the greatest of which is love, in the sacrament of Confirmation.  As we near the end of life, we receive the Anointing of the Sick and, under certain conditions, the Apostolic Blessing which absolves us of our sins.  Scripture took on a whole new meaning for me.  I have two favourite passages:  When Thomas asks Jesus: How will we know the way to where you are going?  And Jesus replies: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life...........   The second is the words of forgiveness and mercy that Jesus says to the good thief while on the Cross:  Today you shall be with me in Paradise!  How in my brokenness and sinfulness do I long to hear those words from Jesus!!  
        So my faith journey became as it should, the most important aspect of my life and I began to attend daily Mass at St. Catherine of Siena parish.  I find that I long for the daily spiritual nourishment of the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus!  I seek the strength to move forward along the narrow road and to grow in love and holiness.  I have so far to go!!  I have beloved companions in the parish who walk the road with me and a priest who seeks to nourish and teach us.  Through the Polish Saint, Faustina Kowalska, we have been made aware of the ocean of divine mercy that Jesus has for us if only we trust in Him and seek His mercy - and now we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy on the second Sunday of Easter as requested by Jesus and instituted by Pope St. John Paul II.  All of the above has allowed me to grow as a Catholic and somehow cope with our social and secular environment which, in my opinion, is sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of godlessness.  A final thought:  when Jesus gave the option to his Apostles to leave, Peter said - yes Lord, but to whom shall we go?  Indeed!!  I am a convicted Catholic because I believe with all my mind, heart and soul, that my Catholic faith provides the surest means to eternal salvation.

-married, father and daily Mass goer


More to come!!