One of the things that has helped me during this transition process across the country is having a place to congregate every Sunday. Growing up, religion was never pushed on me. We were expected to join our parents at church every Sunday. I’m sure my parents prayed that we would continue to be faithful to the church, but it was never pushed.
Growing up I would never have guessed that I’d be glad my parents encouraged us to join them at mass each week. It feels good to go to look forward to going to a place to clear my mind, remind me about what’s important, and has the same traditions of home. Church is a piece of home and a piece of my family. The church that I have liked the best is St. Benedict’s in Phoenix. The second week I was there, the priest asked if there was anyone new so I raised my hand and announced I was from New Jersey. Made me a little teary eyed to see a new parish be so welcoming.
You’re probably wondering if I got the title of this post confused with a different post and asking yourself why would I be talking about religion in a governmental post. Since this election is EVERYWHERE, a couple weeks ago a presidential debate was taking place right after mass – so I wondered if the priest would dare bring it up during/after mass. I thought about it – and when the mass concluded without any mention – I thought of course he didn’t say anything. Government and Religion are two different things, right?
Well today we had a priest who actually went there. Fr. Bill Faiella – He started off by saying, “It’s not in my job description to tell you who to vote for — Thank God for that!” 🙂 He went on to explain that there were some things though, that he wanted us to think about when we are making our decision. He encouraged everyone not to look at one single issue – but look at the entire person and their being. “Look at their values, programs, and behavior.” It seemed like there was one singular thing he thought would sway certain people. I quickly tried to think if there was one singular thing that Trump had over Hillary – and because I was glued to what the priest was saying I couldn’t come up with anything on the spot. I’m grateful that he eventually shared a story with us that made me realize why some people might vote for Trump.
He told us a story about a man who came to him and explained that although he does not agree with abortions, he doesn’t think it should be considered a crime. The man said that he worked with women who have been through so much abuse and hardships in their lives and sometimes ended up pregnant. This man felt these women have enough hardships in their lives and shouldn’t be forced to choose between having a baby or being put in prison. The priest didn’t say this, but we all know that Donald has been saying that he thinks abortions should be illegal. I’m so thankful that this priest made the bold move to let Catholics know that we shouldn’t be voting for someone because of one idea.
The priest then went on to say, no matter who wins or loses – remember this: The Lord will either go through him or around him to make sure things in this world are right.