My fiancé and I are getting married at the end of this month. We couldn’t be more excited, but along with the excitement comes a fair amount of stress. There is the laundry list of decisions to make from flowers and photographers to meal choices and reception sites. Add in our families’ priorities of who should be invited and what they feel is nonnegotiable and it can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Thankfully, when it came to picking where we would be married, the decision was simple, The Basilica. Yes it is a beautiful building, but more importantly it is our spiritual home. It is the place that we can go on Sunday feeling overwhelmed and leave feeling renewed. It is a place that over this past year has reminded me of what is truly important and that list does not include flowers and photographers. It is a community we are proud to be part of and proud to support.
In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis said “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” We have experienced these words first hand at The Basilica.
For the past nine years I have seen on a daily basis what the generosity and mercy of this community makes possible each and every day.
As a parish member I have experienced the “less cold” on a Sunday evening in January when the temperatures are frigid outside but the church is filled with warmth and light. But I have also felt this on a hot summer day when my fiancé and I light a candle for a family member who is having medical issues.
I have seen the “more just” lived out as a staff member when my colleagues tirelessly provide comfort for those experiencing loss and sadness, through our grief ministry. Or our volunteers spend hours counseling individuals in our employment ministry for weeks and months until they have found jobs.
I have felt the mercy and love of The Basilica community as a soon-to-be Basilica bride: from the support and counsel my fiancé and I have received from the learning office in our marriage prep to the liturgy team who has worked with us to ensure we have a beautiful faith-filled ceremony; as well as all the well wishes we have received from fellow parish members and volunteers that we have met from being part of this vibrant community.
These moments and so many more are not possible without each and every financial stewardship pledge we receive. With stewardship, as with mercy, a little bit goes a long way. Every time we live out our faith, meeting our neighbors with mercy, understanding and compassion, we radiate ripples of God’s love far beyond our doors. Sharing our blessings is where it all begins.
I hope you will consider a 2017 pledge today. You can pledge online, fill out a pledge form and mail it in, or bring it to mass next weekend. You may also contact Stephanie Bielmas for answers to any questions you may have about supporting The Basilica.