It all changed when I said: “Yes!”
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Parishioners and Guests,

I am now and always have been an optimist. I see sparks of good in everyone, forgive expeditiously, and rarely take anything personally.

If I am so optimistic, why then do I often wonder if my positivity will eventually run out? The world is so loud, it’s getting louder, and society is tugging at me to get mad, to stay sad, and to lose hope. Plus, isn’t that what happens when you get older? You lose faith in future generations and eventually give up hope?

I have some ideas, but I am not exactly sure where my optimism comes from. However, I recently determined what sustains it and I’m excited to tell you.

My tank gets topped off at least once a week right here at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. This place was made for optimism!

Most weeks, I’m a hospitality minister. That means I get to see all the beautiful diversity that enters our sanctuary! There’s old and young, single and married, black and white, polished and raw…even happy and crabby. Their shared hope in the promise of our faith refuels my optimism.

My tank fills further during Liturgy of the Word and even more during Fr. Mahon’s homily. His message is always so relevant. My favorite part each week is his long pause after preaching. I close my eyes, recall the themes of the first half of Mass, and ask God to help me live out His word. Those quiet, peaceful seconds are the most calm I feel all week.

As I get older, the Liturgy of the Eucharist is slowly (but steadily) influencing me more and more. It wasn’t that long ago that I was just going through the motions, but lately I’ve done more listening and learning. I still can’t explain the mystery of the Eucharist, but I’ve never met anyone or read anything that describes miracles well.

Serving as a Eucharistic Minister to the Co-Cathedral’s homebound has also helped motivate me to believe in the real presence of Jesus. One minute we’re complaining about America’s shrinking work ethic, bodily aches and pains, or my generation’s addiction to technology, but as soon as the Eucharist appears something happens. Instantly, the room is filled with reverence and belief I can feel. I always depart with peace and optimism!

At this point, I am fueled and ready for the week…but NOT SO FAST! At the end of Mass, are you thinking about warming up your car? Bacon and eggs? Perhaps the injury status of your fantasy roster? Sometimes, I am too! However, if I stay focused, the glorious sounds of Sebastian’s organ flood my tank.

My soul is refreshed and my optimism about everything is absolute.

It wasn’t that long ago that The Mass and my church membership was simply a routine. It all changed when I said: “Yes!”

“Yes” to participating in my parish has absolutely strengthened my faith and intensified my optimism. Participation connects me with others and I’m learning so much from them.

I avoided church participation for a while. I liked my freedom too much and figured there were others with more time. I’m so glad I finally said “Yes!”

It’s opened my heart, strengthened my faith and constantly refuels my optimism.

If you’re looking for more and ready to say “Yes!” please contact the parish center to explore opportunities. We need your help!

Peace & Joy!
Corey Poppe
(Katie’s Husband)