Last week, I blogged about my First Mass and what a wonderful experience it was. Just a little background since Monday, I talked with Father Joe on Tuesday about the family's "situation" and he's working on getting everything squared away. Praise the Lord for Father Joe! :) While meeting Father Joe, I got the chance to meet Natalie who will be instructing me in RCIA and the other lady in the office, but I can't remember her name at the moment.
For informational purposes, I have decided I should tell you our local "parish" has 3 separate churches. Sacred Heart, St. Mary's, and Our Lady of Ransom. All are served by the same priest, Father Joe.
So last night, I was supposed to be working on some Boy Scout stuff and ended up missing Mass at Sacred Heart, where I attended last week. I looked at my options yesterday evening and decided that the Mass at St. Mary's would be best - partially because of the time slot (10:30 AM) and partially because to be honest, I'm avoiding going to Our Lady of Ransom for fear of meeting old demons there that I'm just not 100% certain I'm ready to deal with yet.
This morning we got up, dressed for Mass, jumped in the car, and drove the 30ish minutes to St. Mary's. A bit nervous without Diane to guide me this week I plundered on through the Church and found a pew. Shortly after we were seated and I finished praying, Father Joe came to chat with us again telling us how pleased he was to see us there. A few jokes later about remembering names and Erma Bombeck (Dr. Denton?) and he was smiling and laughing as he went to the back to prepare for the procession.
TrainBoy and I settled in for the long haul and I started thumbing through the Missal which is still an oddity to me. TrainBoy was whining that he wanted to get to go sit "up there" (in the Choir Loft at the back) and I was explaining that we aren't allowed, etc. Get over it. Not 30 seconds after I finished that statement, my shoulder is tapped from the back by Natalie, my "to be" RCIA instructor. Her kind smile welcomed us and she introduced herself to TrainBoy. Then she asked me to grab my things and come with her up to the Choir Loft to join the choir.
Wanting to excuse myself politely I started to say "no", but TrainBoy jumped up and started heading after her to go up there. He was ecstatic - who was I to stop him.
(a little background here - I have a personal background as a professional singer and have been for many, many years. I love what I used to do and now do it primarily as a volunteer.)
Up in the loft the Mass was already starting. DS found a spot at the rail in front as the musicians and I introduced ourselves quickly. Turns out Natalie is the Church's organist. I've effectively been recruited for life. Show up anytime - no need to rehearse - glad to have you with us.
These people are the most fun I've ever had in a room full of Catholics. We spent several portions of the Mass in giggles over the stupid things that happen behind the scenes when you're a performer. Some examples include: trying to hold onto 2 books and a binder while holding hands during the Our Father without them falling and making a huge THUD, the reluctance of the Cantor to go up and cantor, and my absolute favorite, the last minute competition for who would have to announce the final hymn which had been published wrong. Lord, I have TRULY missed people like this.
Last week I was comforted by Diane. THIS week, I truly felt like I BELONGED.