As part of our message series, It’s Better in Here, each week a parishioner will describe what Saint Brendan means to him or her personally. This week’s article is by young adult, Mitch Carey.
November 23, 2014 was the first time that I visited Saint Brendan. The other parishes that I attended in San Francisco were massive. Undoubtedly, their scale and architecture evoked and signified the beauty that is the Catholic Church. Saint Brendan, however, had a beauty of its own, with a certain friendliness, coziness, and welcome, that sense of hygge, warmth and well-being that Father Roger has been recently mentioning. I appreciate the size of Saint Brendan, tucked away in a corner of the city, especially since I moved to San Francisco from a small town in Southeastern Washington State.
As a young adult, it is refreshing to attend Mass on Sunday and see family life thriving, something that seems rare in San Francisco. As I recognize the faces around me on each Sunday, I experience a sense of belonging, community, and family. It reminds me of home. In fact, it’s the people that I love most about being a parishioner here.
People like Sister Angela. After that first Mass at Saint Brendan, she asked for help setting up tables for hospitality. Such a small task, yet, in me, this fostered that initial sense of belonging. Like many other Catholics, I desired to be more involved in the Church, yet did not know how to serve. Sister Angela recognized this desire and gave me that extra nudge in the right direction. Over the three years since my first visit, setting up tables once a month for Sunday hospitality is now a commitment that my friend Brady and I have made, and I could not be more thankful for Sister Angela asking us to help.
People in small groups. Witnessing the faith of others in the small group “Random Acts of Catholics” at Saint Brendan has provided an opportunity, not only to serve within the church, but also to branch out to those in need in our community. It is inspiring to witness individuals in this group who live out Pope Francis’ words: “You pray for the hungry, and then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.”
Other people at Saint Brendan. Many parishioners probably do not realize the impact they have, but they are all part of the reason that I feel at home here. The women that pray the Rosary early every morning make me look forward to hopping out of bed, for example, and the parish staff have a certain light about them.
This church has helped to ignite a fire within my heart, for which I am forever grateful. I am now in my last year of dental school. As a recipient of a scholarship with the Navy, it seems only fitting that Saint Brendan, patron saint of sailors, will help navigate me, as I discern God’s will in my life and the plans he has for me. Thank you to all those parishioners that make Saint Brendan the home that it is!
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