Site Visit Part 3 by Karen Cordoves

This is my second time experiencing the same church as I mentioned before. St. Benedict church is a beautiful site to begin with and it was a pleasure experiencing Mass, all by myself. Sunday, September 20, at 10:30a.m, I drove myself to the church awaiting the doors to reopen for the second mass of the day. They were tons of people waiting outside, dressed quite elegant. Women with long dress pants, shiny jewelry, and makeup done as if it was done by a professional. Men were dressed handsome, with their black slacks and serious color ties. I’m glad I wore a simple blue knee high dress, covered at the shoulders and simple pumps. Attending Mass is still one of the best introductions to the Church and going alone is not really difficult at all. Many non-Catholics experience a certain amount of apprehension about attending a Catholic Church but there is really nothing to fear. Once I was inside the body of the church, there was a small font of water at the head of the aisle or fastened to the rear wall of the church. This is Holy Water that is blessed during the Easter celebrations and is used throughout the year for baptisms, priestly blessings and for Catholics to bless themselves when they enter and leave church or at other times, by dipping a finger into the Holy Water and then making the sign of the cross on themselves. The blessing is very simple and although it is associated with Catholics, any Christian could use it. You bring the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand together and then touch your forehead with their tips and say”In the name of the Father, (then touch the lower centre chest and say) and of the Son, (then touch the left shoulder and say) and of the Holy Spirit (then touch the right shoulder and say) Amen”. As I sit in the middle of the church, there are booklets with songs and statements to understand the readings. I wasn’t scared nor awkward. I felt like everyone knew each other, and that made me comfortable. Soft smiles all around the room, and lots of hugs. I felt safe, and not outside of the box. Everyone followed the priest on how he told stories about god. They were beautiful songs sang by 3 women near the piano and the section of the instruments. The mass continued and everything fell into place. Not to mention, that the church was cozy. The colors were brown and beige, and very dull. It was a serious church because there wasn’t any decorations. Where the priest stands, it was very lit that you can see any small detail. I think people go to these masses to keep their faith and they keep it as a ritual as an everyday lifestyle. I felt very strong impacted by everyone there and especially all the words. Nothing felt negative towards the visit. I felt completely comfortable at the end, and I will be going again, in the near future.

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