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Received with Grace

Not long ago I reached out to my home parish, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodstock, Illinois to spread the word about the upcoming Biking for Babies ride, specifically emphasizing the impact that we plan to make for the benefit of mothers, children, and the pro-life mission. I had arranged with our new but very generous parish priest to give a brief talk at the end of each Mass for one weekend, 5 Masses total.

When the Saturday vigil Mass came around, I felt anxiety and uncertainty about what the response of the parish might be. I knew I had a goal (a lofty one at that) set forth and I hoped and prayed that somehow with the parish outreach, I could come close. When the Mass was coming to a close and the priest began to clean and put away Communion, I asked the Lord that He may use my voice for the ultimate benefit of His children. Once it was time for me to speak, I did the best that I could to deliver the talk with composure, confidence and conviction. To my surprise the words that I spoke on behalf of Biking for Babies was received with applause.

Immediately after Mass, individuals from the congregation rushed to the Biking for Babies booth I had stationed myself at to support this cause in any way that they could. In that moment I was blown away. The overall support struck me so profoundly that I was in near shock …and that experience happened again, 4 more times on Sunday.

The generosity and the response by the incredible members of St. Mary’s parish has inspired me and reinvigorated me in ways that I could never have foreseen. I saw that the belief and conviction for the sanctity of ALL human life is not just held by a few. It is held by so many. And for so many, so strongly! The people of St. Mary’s helped me to not only meet my personal fundraising goal, but to far exceed it! I am so grateful to be a member of such an incredible parish. Every single parishioner and family whom chose to support the cause either in monetary contribution, words of encouragement, and ever importantly prayer, will be kept close to my heart now, during, and after the ride in spirit and in prayer.

The grace poured forth by the parish will not be forgotten!

Eternally grateful,