Herald Journal Columns
July 3, 2006, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Experience the welcome of ‘country folk’

Father Robert Mraz, Holy Family Catholic Church, Silver Lake

Have you noticed the building of new homes going on in the area? Farms are being developed into small villages. Every place you can find a couple of spare trees, there are lots being sold for new houses. Towns are growing, and homes are going up around the local lakes and in the remaining woods.

We would like to welcome all these new people to our area. As you come out to this rural area to find a home, have you thought to look for a spiritual home and family?

We don’t travel through life alone; we need others. The local churches can be of great benefit to you, and you can be a great benefit to them. Here is a place to go when you feel lost and don’t know where to go in life – people can help you find the way.

Caring people would like to find new friends in the area. Rural areas can often seem kind of closed, and for the “old timer settler’s families,” but people here are all anxious to get to know you to be their new family members, too. They offer you places and people you can trust, and you don’t have to be suspicious of what their motives are for getting to know you.

The churches offer education in parochial schools with God-based curriculum – which can give special care for the children and excellent educations, as shown by how many are on the school honor rolls when they graduate.

The churches offer Sunday school, CCD religious education programs, vacation Bible schools, and adult catechism and Bible studies. They have social concerns projects and fund raisers to help the poor in foreign lands, as well as helping those nearby, who need welcome and are down and out, with food, clothing, abuse shelters, and aid for people going through sickness and tragedies in life.

There is support for the bereaved, for the divorced, and for those who are dealing with family members with illnesses and addictions.

There are spiritual programs and opportunites for prayer as a group, in homes, in church, alone, and with others.

There are fraternal societies that offer insurance, often getting together to help local people, and just to have fun.

Our local churches are great places to find a larger family who cares about you, and they are a place in which you can share your God-given talents and life experiences to enrich others in similar situations and with similar needs.

Often, people may attend church anonymously, or they don’t look for one until they need one for a baptism, funeral, education need, or tragedy. These are families we should get to know sooner.

Church members would be glad to welcome you, share their resources and programs with you, and be beneficiaries of the blessing God made you to be for others.

Don’t wait until you need something to find a parish family. After you move into the area, we encourage you to find a church family, too, and then you will really experience the welcome of “country folk” as part of the family of God.

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