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 kindergarten parent, Shareen Harvey.
I was raised with the privilege of a Catholic education. I appreciated the Church and God in my own personal way, but it wasn’t until later in life that I realized how much I actually value my upbringing. I strayed from my Catholic roots in early adult life. However, once married with children, I felt a strong desire and need to ensure that God and the Catholic Church and its teachings were a huge part of our lives again.
I remember the first time I saw Saint Brendan Church and School. I thought, “what a majestic, serene and beautiful place.” I was pregnant with my first daughter and wanted my children to attend school and Mass here. I had no idea at the time how wonderfully impactful this journey would be, not only for my children, but also for myself. Being an absent parishioner, this revelation felt a bit off, but, as I would come to find, it was God telling me, through Saint Brendan, to get back to what is truly important in life.
So, what does Saint Brendan’s mean to me?
Unconditional Support. I joined Saint Brendan in 2012, several years before my first daughter entered kindergarten. It wasn’t long before Sister Angela found me. I am forever thankful, because she started my journey back to bringing God to the front row of my life. Her desire for me to become more involved with the parish has been invaluable, as it has granted me unconditional support when I have needed it the most.
Stability. Father Pete has said this several times during the homily, and it rings true every time I start beating up on myself about missing Mass and feeling detached from God and the Church: God loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter what. I have three children now and stay at home, managing them and the household. I can’t imagine working a full-time job now, as I did for eighteen years. Like God, I know that my community and parish at Saint Brendan’s will always be there for me.
Guidance. While this may sound corny or ridiculous to some, I believe that, through Saint Brendan and the people I have met in this parish, God is guiding me. Whether it is something as subtle as being asked to take on a ministry for the school or church, it’s really God helping to guide me on my journey in life. Even writing this article is an example to me of God’s guidance. He is giving me the opportunity to rethink my purpose with Saint Brendan and the Catholic Church.
For all these reasons and more, It’s (definitely) Better in Here. I credit the Saint Brendan community for always showing God’s plan for me and acceptance of me and am more grateful everyday for the support and guidance I receive here.
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