By Kelly Kramer
I have been a member of St. Clare parish since my husband Tim and I were married here 22 years ago. Tim has been a lifelong member. Our daughter and son have received all of their sacraments at St. Clare and I was fortunate enough to share those experiences with them in a special way as a teacher in the religious education program for seven years during that time.
It is out of my comfort zone to stand before a group of people and formally address them and I try to avoid those situations. But when Fr. Andrew called to invite me, along with other members of St. Clare, to share a resurrection story I knew I had to say yes.
I didn’t know what I would share and I wasn’t even sure what a resurrection story should be. But I did know that I had to step out of my comfort zone and accept Fr. Andrew’s invitation.
I thought for a long time about the experiences in my life that might be considered resurrection stories. I don’t have a single, dramatic “epiphany” story that changed my life. But there have been many, many moments in my life when I have been struck by the feeling of God’s presence or been reminded in some significant way of Christ’s promise of new life.
One of those moments came after years and years of reciting the Our Father, when I was struck one time by just how perfect that prayer is and that everything I need is in that prayer. And I felt a new connection.
I remember feeling that presence when friends decided to enrolled their children in a parish catechism program because their ten-year-old daughter, who had had limited exposure to formal religion, had been inspired somehow to seek a deeper faith connection.
And I remember feeling that presence when I sat and visited with my friend two weeks before she passed from this life and she radiated a peace and grace that was remarkable to me.
And now I feel it again when I recall that months ago it seemed an impossible hope that, in this time of vocation shortages, we would find any priest to step in and shepherd St. Clare. And yet, against what seemed like impossible odds, we have been blest. And not just with any priest, but with Fr. Andrew, who is accessible, who reaches out, and who brings his energy and enthusiasm to share with us. And that blessing speaks to me as a clear sign of Christ’s promise of new life.
So when Fr. Andrew asked me to be part of this sharing, I knew I had to accept. I wanted to be part of this new life, this rebuilding. And I hope we will all share in the resurrection story that Fr. Andrew brings, and recognize God’s presence with us so that we can experience together the hope and the promise of new life at St. Clare.