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God Sightings

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Fall in Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful things to encounter, in my opinion. There are so many great outdoor activities to do by yourself or as a family that remind us of how great God truly is. We have the opportunity to pick apples, get lost in a field of corn, witness the sunflowers in their glorious peak, take a hike, find the perfect pumpkin in the patch, and sit around a bonfire and enjoy the warmth of the flame. I am grateful to be able to do these things and so much more with my family and adore and appreciate what He has given to me.

During Vacation Bible School we talk to the kids about God Sightings. We ask the participants (adults and children alike) to keep their eyes open for ways God is present in their lives. We make a conscious effort to acknowledge that God has placed people and things in our lives that bring joy, beauty, and comfort. Sometimes there is pain or anger as well. We look to God in and through all things. Keep your eyes open for your God Sightings. Who or what has God placed in your life this week to help you grow closer to him?

Patron Saints

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This spring, when our three children, who are students at St. Dominic Catholic School, were thrown into home/virtual schooling, their teachers and Mrs. Fischer tried to keep their day as normal as possible. They helped parents by providing direction for the regular academic material, but also with how to begin their day with prayer. After they listened to the daily school announcements, they listened to the Gospel and some reflection questions. Students were then instructed to pray, ending their prayer by asking for the intercession of St. Dominic.

Each classroom adopts a saint for the year to use as their intercessor. When we began school at home, we included St. Dominic, St. Francis, St. Patrick, and St. Pope John Paul II in our prayers. Our middle son, a 2nd grader, asked me if I a had a patron saint for my office. I said I didn't.

That afternoon, I shared his comments with my office mate, Mary Lestina. She thought it was a great idea. After much research and  deliberation, we settled on Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin. Not only were they the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, they are also the patron saints of marriage and parenting. There could be no better saints to grace the office of the pastoral associate and child minister! We celebrated their feast day on July 12 by offering packaged snacks to our co-workers.

There is a patron or intercessory saint for just about everything, from professions to activities, travel and pets. Consider what is important to you or your family and do a little research. You may be surprised at what you find!

The Edge of Our Seats

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There are moments in life that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Maybe it’s a baseball game where there are runners on base and a hit can win the game, or double overtime in a basketball game with seconds on the clock when a 3 point shot goes up. Perhaps these moments hit a little closer to home—like watching your child swimming or running in a meet,  neck and neck with another athlete. Whatever the results are, we want to remember and recount them with others afterwards.

When was the last time something in your faith life kept you on the edge of your seat? Recently, I experienced several "edge of your seat" faith moments.

My daughter and I were blessed to be present at the ordination of two men, Father Stephen Buting and Father Nicholas Baumgardner. I also witnessed children eagerly walking to the sanctuary for a blessing before heading off to Children’s Liturgy the Word and spent time in the nursery with some of our littlest and most “active” parishioners. Finally, I was present for the Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Nick at his home parish and received a blessing from him! These are all moving experiences for me—watching people answer God’s call to seek, know and become Christ.

Be watchful and aware of the faith moments in your life that keep you on the edge of your seat. God is present all around us. Are we as eager to share those edge of our seat moments as quickly and enthusiastically as those of our everyday lives?