Letter: Church’s history is in its people
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
My journey to St. Mary’s Catholic Church came with much heartache. I followed my son Raymond there as he searched for relief from his growing pain of alcohol addiction. Sadly, Raymond could not defeat his demons. When he died two years ago by completing suicide, the ladies of St. Mary’s gathered and said a thousand prayers to heaven for him. I, too, wanted to die with Raymond’s loss, but I was surrounded by so much love and encouragement by so many at St. Mary’s that I left my grief at Jesus’ feet, and at last year’s Easter vigil, I gave heart to our Lord and to his blessed mother, Mary. Although I have a long way to go to heal my grief and anger, I believe that Jesus stepped into my boat and is not getting out because he wants me to find joy in life again.
Jesus did not need a building to gather people to him. He was not about historic preservation of material things such as fixtures, pews or paint colors. He came that we may know his Father and be fisher of men. Just as older parishioners have found the beauty of God within the walls of St. Mary’s, so should we all be the arms of Christ, reaching out, welcoming and encouraging new people young and old to Jesus’ heart. I believe that this is what God wants of St. Mary’s.
I hope that when people really think about the history of St. Mary’s parish they recall the people who have come and gone — remembering the history, the stories of those who shared their love of Christ with the Aspen community.
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