The grace of God is often in the simple gifts...
A hug on Sunday mornings
when the children arrive for religious education
Giving a child their second communion
Watching a small child sing “All Are Welcome”
Faith Vos Winkel
I had a chance to substitute teach in a Kindergarten class in 1984. We went around the circle and the children were saying what part of God’s creation was their favorite. Most of them said their dog or cat, some rainbows and so on. We got all around the circle and I began to move on with the class when one child said, “Wait! It’s your turn. What’s your favorite thing?” One of the other children said, “I know! I know what your favorite thing is that God made!” “It’s us! All of us ‘cuz you love us!”
That moment was a great reminder that in the catechetical ministry we’re called to do so much more than teach facts about our faith. That graced moment fed me for a long time, and as you can see, I still think about it.
I have attended many of the Christian/Muslim dialogues at St. Patrick-St. Anthony. At one of them we had a supper where everyone brought in food. The experience of eating a meal and learning a different culture at the same time was wonderful. You could feel the warmth and sharing in that room that night. At one point I looked around and just watched the others interact. The fact that so many women from different lifestyles, ages, and religions could come together in share their experiences so openly was a gift. I truly felt God's grace in that room and have each time I've gone to one of those sessions. My thanks to Carole Fay and the others who put together these meetings and allowed so many women a chance to experience God's grace and peace together.
Although I volunteer in a variety of ways around the parish, many of my most memorable experiences have arisen out of my service at the House of Bread. It is a place of grace, where those who come to be nourished at the table end up nourishing those of us who serve, by their presence.
It is hard to transfer to words, the experiences we share there-the look on a weary face when you offer a client a cold drink, or a cup of tea. The blessings and thanks offered as you serve lunch, the faces of the children when they get a treat. There have been so many moments that have been emotional and transformational for me that I could not begin to recount them. Moments God has selected for me so that I can know Him and serve Him better.
When I looked into the faces I serve there it is not hard to see the face of Jesus. To serve there is a privilege because it provides me with a tangible way to be the Lords hands, feet and heart on this earth as we endeavor to care for one another.
I have been trying to think about the possibilities offered by the thesis given and know, with some certainty, many will express their thoughts and spirituality beautifully.
The experiences I want to share seem to fall into simpler, more physical terms. I enjoy preparing and sharing food with family and friends whether or not I know the men and women who avail themselves of St. Patrick – St. Anthony’s Sandwich Ministry is not really relevant – But to know I can share some fairly hearty food that may give people a few moments of pleasure and comfort is.
"I am blessed to be involved in two ministries that at first glance may seem to be very different--I make sandwiches for the Sandwich Ministry and I am a Eucharistic Minister. As I have had time to be contemplative while making sandwiches and sitting in a quiet Church before Mass, I have come to realize that in both ministries I help to feed others. I feel that in both I am part of a sacred food chain."
If you would like to share a story of discovering God in the work you do, please email Trudi White,CVA