Keeping ‘Grounded’ in the Lord

10-23-2016Parish LifeJim Barile

It all began when Fr. Henry placed those little stewardship cards in the pews. The Church needed ushers,Eucharistic Ministers, etc. One of the options was for Bingo. I signed up. I began coming on Monday nights from 6-11:30pm. My wife, who was pregnant at the time with our second child, was not thrilled at the prospect of my leaving the house for an entire evening.

Yet, it ended up being beneficial for both our children and our marriage. I met some really wonderful people and I hit it off particularly with a man named Fred. I spotted him right away since he shared not only my sense of humor but also my height (6'6)! He was the father of five or six children and also had grand-children. During Bingo the conversation would eventually lead to parenting and what it meant to be a good spouse. I found myself looking forward to going to Bingo so that I could learn from him. Fred was wise, witty, and thoughtful. The advice and insight I received from him was invaluable to me as a husband and a father.

In the mid-2000's those little index cards came around again, this time I checked off gardening. Through this ministry I became acquainted with many fine people, people who you could rely on in a pinch. In 2006 Joann Fisher and I took over the Gardening Ministry. I find that gardening is both a hobby and way of participating in the Church. It makes me feel good to know that people appreciate the work we do. The grounds look beautiful and it has given me a deeper sense of gratitude for what God has given me. When I am working here I enjoy the quiet time I have alone with just the Lord, my thoughts, and a cigar. I often make my way into the Church and thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed on me.

One of the many highlights I have experienced in the Gardening Ministry was when the youth group came and helped to beautify the grounds. I wasn't sure what to expect but the kids were wonderful! They dug out shrubs, weeded and had a smile on their faces the whole time. I was really touched by their dedication to God and it gives me hope for our Church's future. Getting involved with the Gardening ministry makes me want to love God even more and to work harder at leading a life worthy of Him so that come judgement day, I won't be on the outside looking in. This ministry has introduced me to many fine people and has given me an even greater appreciation for the many good gifts which God has given to me.