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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

World Series Revelations

Apparently, I still have a few surprises up my sleeve for Justin. This week, he was surprised to see my reaction to the World Series.

Ever since I was a little girl, I watched Cardinals baseball with my family, especially my father. As a result, I am a HUGE Cardinals fan. However, because I’m such a passionate fan, I made a conscious decision years ago only to follow Cardinals baseball in the postseason. I’ve been so successful with this decision that I’ve been accused of being a “fair-weather fan” more than once.

Justin has been surprised with both my knowledge of baseball and my passion for the team. I have to admit there are a few times I’m glad my mother wasn’t in the room to hear my comments! I suppose I need to work on that in the upcoming years, so I don’t teach the same habits to our children, God willing.

As I’ve watched the World Series, I have begun to note my lack of hope for the Cardinals to pull out a victory. Whenever the Cardinals are behind, I’ll just say, “Oh, they are going to lose anyway,” instead of being hopeful about the outcome. Now that I’m watching for it, I do notice my lack of hope in other things as well.

Late last week, a blog I follow questioned, “What priest, pastor, preacher, or bishop has impacted your life most and how?”

As I started to ponder, I began to realize just how blessed both Justin and I are to know so many great priests. Unfortunately, some media coverage portraying our Church in less than a positive light has made it easy for me to take for granted the great sacrifices these men make for us. I’m thankful that blog post reminded me the importance of being grateful for our blessings.

Unfortunately, just as some people might consider me a “fair weather” baseball fan, sometimes I think I could be perceived as a “fair weather” Catholic. I’m very vocal about my faith when the going is good, but it’s been much harder to be a light to the world when Catholics are seen in less than a positive light. Both working for the Church and having friends who are priests has definitely taught me that priests are people just like the rest of us. They mourn when they lose family, they cheer for sporting teams, and they even struggle with many of the same things as you and me. In addition to being thankful for my blessings, I need to be hopeful and joyful no matter what circumstances I find myself in.

Since Priesthood Sunday is this Sunday (October 30), Justin and I thought it appropriate to salute those who have inspired us throughout the years. In addition, we salute those behind-the-scenes people – the dedicated staff and volunteers that make it possible for these men to minister to the people. Since it’s not possible to write about all the priests who have influenced us, we picked just three from a variety of circumstances who are currently in our lives.

Fr. Xavier, a monk from Conception Abbey, always impresses me with his spiritual wisdom. He quotes popes, saints, and others from long ago. He’s seen enough not to be surprised when one confesses their sins, yet is able to be tough on you. Fr. Xavier is so humble he will readily admit when he doesn’t know the answer to a question. He is so wise, many of us have affectionately named nicknamed him Yoda, as his habit looks suspiciously like something out of Star Wars.

Another great priest is Fr. Rolling, a newly ordained priest from the Diocese of Lincoln. Justin and I were blessed to have him be the main celebrant at our recent wedding (and to attend his ordination). Father Rolling’s joy to be a priest is evident in all he does and all he is. Fr. Rolling’s joy manages to inspire me every time Justin and I are around him.

Our pastor, Fr. Ron, is also very inspiring. He is a Precious Blood priest, and is very available to parishioners. He is very good at listening, and being with the people. Fr. Ron works very hard to make the sacraments available to the people, by having numerous Masses and Confession times throughout the week. Fr. Ron isn’t afraid to personally sacrifice to help serve the people – including not replacing a nearly broken dishwasher for the rectory so the church can have needed repairs.

Justin and I realize we are so blessed to have so many priests in our lives. As we approach Priesthood Sunday this week, we suggest you honor your most influential priest, preacher, brother or bishop in word or deed.