Catholic worship and the love of the Catholic Church for the faithfully devout

What does it mean to be Catholic?  Beyond Holy Communion and the Baltimore Catechism and Holy Days of Obligation, being Catholic is being part of a culture, of a heritage.  We were raised in houses filled with Catholic iconography: a crucifix in every room, figurines of the Virgin Mary here and there, maybe a stone statue of St. Francis in the garden.  

When we were little, we looked forward to Palm Sunday because our grandfathers would make intricate woven artwork from the palms we received at church.  We fidgeted in our pews on Sundays because we couldn’t wait for the donuts and orange juice in the Parish Hall afterwards.  We cherished our white gloves and white patent leather purses that we carried to mass each week, a tiny Missal tucked inside.  We had our throats blessed on St. Blaise Day.  Some of us went to Parochial school, some of us when to CCD every Sunday.  We knew which patron saints to pray to, for everything from toothaches (St. Christopher) to sunny days (St. Thomas Aquinas). The smell of incense still comforts us like an old friend.  

What are your fondest memories of growing up Catholic? Listen to some of these anecdotes of Catholic nostalgia, from people who enjoyed the unique childhood of a Catholic:

“Growing up, my dream was to go to Our Mother of Sorrows, the Catholic high school in my town.  The uniforms (skirts and blouses, not jumpers), the perfectly-scuffed saddle shoes, the special grown-up little gold cross necklace I saw all the girls wearing . . . I longed to be as holy and happy as those young ladies were.  Imagine my misery when my family moved away just after my Freshman year!  But I will never forget the thrill of my first day at OMOS.” Carol, age 50

“Growing up Catholic may have been a little more intense than it was for non-Catholic kids, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  All the Angels and Saints kept me safe from the Bogeyman and helped me find my glasses whenever I lost them. Thanks St. Anthony!”