Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Why Do Catholics Stay?"

Last week was the most beautiful and enriching Holy Week that I've ever had. My family was visiting from Cleveland and they spent Triduum and Easter with my community at St. Gertrude Parish in Edgewater. I attended the Good Friday Walk for Justice sponsored by the good folks at 8th Day Center for Justice. I served as an RCIA sponsor for my friend and Chicago Jesuit Volunteer, Cathy. My friends and I also welcomed our friend Amy into the Church. It was an appropriately challenging Triduum and a glorious Easter. Amidst all this beauty and communion, however, I feel an internal tension due to the increasingly horrifying reports of the sinfulness of the Church's sexual abuse scandals. While my faith is often a source of great beauty, during times of such desolation, I can't help but ask why I stay.

Regina Brett is a journalist for The Plain Dealer, the newspaper of my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. She also asked herself why she stays and responded with today's article, which I found to be quite eloquent. In addition to the current abuse scandals internationally, the Church in Cleveland has suffered much loss in the last year due to the city's extreme poverty and corrupt Church politics. However, as Regina mentions, there are some tremendous leaders who are beacons of the faith and service that Jesus calls us to in the Gospels. These beacons and the community of believers are what make her stay. They're what make me stay too.

-Mary Ellen

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