When I was first asked to write an article for Deacon John’s Stewardship column. I started thinking up a million excuses of why I couldn’t. I have three kids and we are dealing with remote learning; my husband and I both work full time; our dog just died. As I was listing the excuses I was going to give her in my head my thoughts shifted thinking of the homily’s I listen to Father Mike give every week. I heard in my head now Father saying “prioritize God over everything”; “use your God given talents”. I heard him saying “make time for God and not just inside the church on Sunday”. I thought of this week’s lesson on Mary saying yes to God. So I pushed aside my own fear and doubt and when Karen asked me if I would do it I gave her the most excited YES I could muster.
For those of you who don’t know us I am sure you have probably at least heard our kids in mass. My name is Loni McNany, my husband is Matt McNany and our children our Emily (8), Addison (5), and Connor (2). We were asked to write for the column because this year we are going through the process of RCIA or The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. As part of RCIA my husband and I have the privilege of meeting almost every Thursday with Deacon Bob and 4 other amazing individuals going through RCIA with us. Our goal is at the Easter Vigil we will be confirmed into the Catholic faith and become full members of St. Patrick’s Church in Hubbard. All of us in RCIA have different stories and different faith backgrounds but we are all united by RCIA. My husband and I call our weekly RCIA classes our date night and I have to say we both genuinely enjoy it. Even on the days we don’t really feel like going we say “yes” and we show up and we leave feeling happy that we went. Deacon Bob has taken us through the “why” and the “how” of the sacraments, the order of mass and why we stand and kneel. We have learned about the incense and the oils; some of the different prayers and what they mean. We have learned about the Church and its history and have even gotten to tour it with him. He has answered every single one of our questions and if you ask Deacon Bob he will tell you Matt has lots and lots of questions.
For us RCIA has been more than just the why and the how of going to church but the changes we see in ourselves in our daily lives. We are different then who we used to be when we made the decision as a family to take this journey and join the Catholic Faith. As afraid as we were to complete the sacrament of Reconciliation we left feeling a peace we have never known. After completing the sacrament we both made changes to our behaviors and continue to work to become better. When Matt, Emily, and I got to experience the Holy Eucharist it was just as Deacon Bob said it would be as we experienced and felt the mystery of faith.
In conclusion, the most important thing I want you all to know is how welcomed and accepted we have felt since we made the decision to go through this process. We were afraid to join and intimidated by the process and commitment. We were comfortable where we were and this was a big step as a family that required a lot from us and was not made lightly. From our very first mass we have been welcomed and helped by everyone. From the smiling faces and nice comments about our family and kids to the Cheney’s walking us over and introducing us to Karen and the PSR team. Our children are so happy in PSR and more importantly they are learning so much from their amazing teachers Miss Lisa and Miss Teresa. So thank you to Father Mike and the Deacons and to the entire parish for helping to make our journey a successful one. You have all helped us in ways we didn’t even know we needed.
The McNany Family