About a month after our wedding, Daniel and I officially registered as parishioners at the church near our home, the same church that I have attended with my family for the past ten years. The staff there knows me by face and by family, but did not necessarily know Daniel’s name. After filling out the form as “Daniel and Sarah H,” I felt the need to clarify in the comments section at the bottom of the page so that they would know who I was: “my maiden name is Sarah B.”
Being parishioners means that offertory envelopes arrive in the mail addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel H.” A new pack arrived yesterday. Daniel and I have been determined to be active parishioners right from the beginning, and this includes weekly giving to the Church. I have received advice from my parents and others that I should always be generous in tithing no matter what my financial situation is like. As long as a person does this, he or she will be alright. There will always be enough.
Another way we are going to be active in our parish is through co-teaching a sixth grade religious education class beginning in a few weeks. My sister Annie is in the class, so she is going to have her sister and brother-in-law as teachers, plus another sister (Jane) as the class aide. Our family is going to be everywhere in that classroom! Daniel and I are really looking forward to being catechists together, and can’t wait for the year to start.
Since Daniel and I married young, pretty much all of the married couples in our parish are older than us. And the couples who don’t have children all look to be significantly older than us, too. In fact, when we were going through marriage prep with our sponsor couple, they told us we were the first couple they had that was younger than them! I guess as time goes by, more and more couples our age will marry and “settle down” in our area; we would love to be able to connect with other young Catholic newlyweds near us.
In speaking about the Church, I can’t neglect the Catholic view of the family as the “domestic church.” Daniel and I are a family unit of our own, even though we haven’t “started a family” yet in the common understanding of the phrase. We are called to make our domestic church here and now, built around the sacrament of marriage, in preparation for the expansion plans God holds for our future. This is why Daniel and I are trying to build our home and our life with God as its foundation. Pope John Paul II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” In our unremarkable and imperfect way, we are going to try to do our part—starting now.
Have a good weekend!