As a non Catholic, taking my devout and very non Catholic mum to a Catholic Church on Easter Sunday, may seem rather odd.
While my mum might not agree, to me it was perfectly natural and absolutely the best way to spend Easter Sunday morning. And, as usual, it was packed, much to my mother’s surprise!
My hubby is Catholic and our two girls go to a Catholic Primary School. I’m not at the stage of wanting to convert to Catholicism – there is so much I don’t align with in this faith – but I do however, really value the strong sense of community, and pulling together, and friendship when I enter and spend time in our local Catholic Church. My girls would love me to be Catholic, like them, but I currently don’t see it as an issue, especially as I go to Church as often as they do and do most of what they do when we’re there.
Having been a key support for my eldest during her Holy Communion, I know the Priest very well – we established a mutual common ground in the writing of poems! – and he welcomed me into the Church with open arms. No preaching, no trying to convert me, just accepting me, irrespective of my faith.
I had always found churches to be very cold and austere and was never encouraged or brought up to go to Church, despite being ‘C of E‘. My Dad was Catholic however, and i can always remember the story of when, after he was really ill in hospital, a Priest came to see him and actually REFUSED to pray for him, because he then found out my dad had got married in a C of E Church! Needless to say, this is why my mum is not a fan of The Catholic Church! I, however, entered a Catholic Church after my dad passed away (many years later, I hasten to add), and gained enormous comfort from it’s warmth, a warmth I never felt in a C of E Church. It really helped me through a very difficult time.
Compare the Priest above to my local Priest, who will visit, counsel, support and pray for ANYONE who needs it, whether Catholic or not. He is outspoken, abrupt, but has a heart of gold and everything he does, is all for his congregation. He would also be great Company over a pint!
That’s why I liked going to church on Easter Sunday. The feeling of family, the familiar faces, the sense of belonging to a Community, all the basics that in the current stressful and pressurised world we live in, is a welcome and easy release.
So one of the best bits is that after Sunday Mass, a few of us go to the Church Hall, all the kids run riot and we mums and dads sit with a cup of tea and a piece of cake or biscuit, and have a good old natter!