I have been fortunate throughout my life to have felt the presence of God, especially in hard times when I needed Him most. One of the most difficult periods I have had to face has been in the last eight years when I had to cope with getting back on my feet after an illness that almost killed me. Then after I got better, my husband's health began to founder and I became his primary caretaker while watching the ravages of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure rob his body of its vitality over a two to three year period. Despite having time to prepare mentally for his inevitable death, I was still overwhelmed with grief for quite a long time, but God never left me.
Enter Father Harvey and St. David's.
At a friend's suggestion, I attended a service at St. David's. Unfortunately, it was right around the time of what would have been my 45th wedding anniversary, and I found myself unable to finish the service. I cried most of the way home. After this episode, that same friend set up a meeting between Father Harvey and me so I could talk about my grief. We conversed for over an hour covering the topics of grief, religion, faith, and family. It was one of the most important conversations I have had in my life. I came away with renewed hope as well as some excellent advice from Father Harvey. At this point in my life I had been outside of an established organized religion for almost 50 years. That was all about to change.
Over the next few months, I started getting more and more involved at St. David's. The people there were/are amazing!! They were so welcoming and supportive! Here was a group of people who actually lived their faith, day in and day out. For them the mass was not mere lip service, but rather a weekly public declaration of their faith in God and a petition for grace to be even more loving and giving to others in the future.
The boost from knowing the other parishioners is not the only benefit of St. David's. The weekly sermons are fantastic! They always contain food for thought and are extremely relevant to our everyday lives. This is not the church I grew up with!
And I am not the same person. I feel that I have been transformed as a direct result of attending St. David's and accessing the guidance found therein. I have not only achieved an inner peace, but also an inner strength, the strength needed to make a positive difference.