The Holy Family The Holy Family

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family. I love this feast. My most vivid memory of the feast occurred seven years ago. My husband and I were visiting my parents in the Boston area for Christmas. We attended Sunday Mass at the parish that I grew up in. My parents have since moved to a neighboring town, but I like to go to Mass at St. Catherine's (where I attended grade school) if possible when I am home. So, that's what we did that day.

Soon after we sat in the pew, I noticed a young family a few rows ahead. The parents were busy "arranging" their four young children (obviously certain siblings couldn't sit next to each other!) and getting them settled before Mass. Suddenly I recognized the father of the family...and then the mother. I had attended grade school with the father at St. Catherine's, and then I knew them both in high school...where they were voted most likely to get married!

I had lost touch with both after high school. Yet, there they were...obviously married with four beautiful children! I bet most of our old classmates already knew this. Not a lot of people leave Massachusetts. At least, that is my experience (I'm sure others could prove me wrong!). My three siblings are all within a few miles of where we grew up, and of my mother's 7 siblings, only one ever left the Boston suburbs.

I lived in the area shortly after college, but I have been gone for almost half of my life now ( did that happen!?). So, for me to see that the yearbook prediction had come true, and that there was such a handsome family to show for it, was really something.

I will never forget the emotions that I had as I sat through that Mass.

What I did know was that we had been trying to get pregnant for almost two years. I was both heartbroken for me and so filled with joy for my old classmates. I left Mass feeling very peaceful. And, I will never forget what my husband said to me on the drive home. He reminded me that two people are a family too (meaning that I already had a holy family...even if it did not include a child).

What I did not know was that I was actually pregnant with our first child at that Mass (praise God!). Gianna was born 9 months later.

As I sat through a lovely Feast of the Holy Family Mass yesterday morning, memories of seven years ago came rushing back. I said many prayers of thanksgiving for the family that God has created, as well as many prayers for those suffering from infertility (including my own family members and close friends). I prayed that they would receive great graces of peace.

I also remembered laughing that day seven years ago when my classmates' family went up to Communion. It was like watching a comedy. Well, today we put on our own comedy show in the Communion line. We had a dancing/twirling 3-year-old ballerina, a kindergartener who loudly pointed out every saint she knew in the stain glass, a squirmy baby, an oblivious preschool boy who smacked straight into the back of the usher, a toddler who tried to grab his own Host out of the bowl, and two parents trying to look like we had in all under control!

As I raced my family back to the cry room, I couldn't help but giggle at OUR holy family! I love this day. It is a feast just for us!

Copyright 2012 Trish Bolster