Hello, my name is Joe Kuczera. My wife Rosie and I have been members of the parish for 30 years. We have three children who were Baptized and attended Religious Education at St. Clare, receiving all their sacraments.
We were blessed with this family but there was a time we thought it was never going to happen. In the early years of our marriage, we attended Mass at our convenience.
We wanted to start a family and experienced difficulty that we weren’t expecting. After five years, several surgeries and countless prayers to St. Joseph, we decided to enter the adoption process. Catholic Social Services told us that we would need a recommendation from our parish priest. The days of going to Mass when convenient were over. Jonathan came home to us at 3 months old and we were so happy that our prayers for a family were finally answered. God bless Jonathan’s birth mother. We know that God wanted Jonathan in our family because once he was home with us, we were given another gift. On the day of Jonathan’s Baptism we were able to announce the upcoming birth of our second child, Vanessa. The power of prayer. She was our “miracle baby” and we thought that would never happen again but 2 years later, along came Alex.
We went from just the two of us for nearly 10 years of marriage to a family of five in less than three years. Be careful what you pray for! I was given the gift of faith by my parents and there were times in my life when I took it for granted. And other times that it gave me strength to face the challenges of life. Now that I had a family I wanted to pass this gift of faith to my children. Being blessed with a family was my resurrection moment. Many times in my life, I have called on God to help me, praying for a family, in times of illness, death, loss of a job.
Recently we were approached by our friend Joan Wendzinski and she encouraged us to attend the ALPHA program. Attending ALPHA was a resurrection and has opened my eyes to my connection with the Catholic & Christian Community. It gave new meaning and awareness to the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. One of the things that made a real impression on me is giving thanks for the blessings I have received in my life and not just turning to God and asking for help. I have found that being thankful for my many blessings has allowed me to be more at peace. I take comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit is with me at all times. After the past brutal winter that we have just experienced, you can’t help but feel the power of God through nature and the beauty of Spring.
Thank you Father Andrew for bringing ALPHA to St. Clare and encouraging us to be bold, be Catholic and be holy. We all need to do the little things to help make Father Andrew’s job easier.