Throughout her life, I saw my mother demonstrate incredible faith. When I asked about her childhood, she remembered “going to Bible School in the afternoon after school. It was held in someone’s home. We learned some scripture verses like John 3:16 and the Psalm 23. I think I can still say them by rote.”
My Mom adopted Catholicism as a means of practicing her faith in God. She also believed that faith without works is dead. She belonged to the Altar and Rosary Society and the Infant of Prague Circle while attending St. Anthony of Padua Church in Denver, Colorado. She helped with parish dinners and was treasurer for the South Denver Women’s Association. When we moved to Lakewood and St. Jude Parish, my mother taught sixth-grade religious education, then known as Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD). I remember sitting in our living room with other classmates, learning about Moses and the Exodus. She brought the Israelites to life by coordinating a Passover with our Jewish neighbors and our Parish Priest. She taught the class for 10 years. After that, she became a member of the Denver Archdiocese School Board for four years. Finally, as a member of the diocesan Proclamation Committee, she helped with teaching Lectors all over the Denver Diocese even traveling to Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Kremmling on Colorado’s Western Slope.
My mother taught me the difference between religion and faith. Although we attended Mass and religious education regularly, she encouraged me to develop my own trust in something more powerful than mankind. Even in the worst situations, my mother displayed a calming trust that all will work out for the best. I can still hear her saying, “Trust God, he knows what he’s doing.”
My mother gave me the gift of faith.