16 May 2007

In the beginning

Ok, here goes. I have been reading the blogs of others and decided to join in. I don't know what I really have to say, since there are many other blogs, many of them local to the Twin Cities, that will be more articulate than mine and have more insightful things to say and share. I'm a cradle Catholic who has a simple faith...not too good on apologetics or well-read in much. And, I don't know about posting too frequently with two little ones (don't know how others do so much with even more kids!).

Why the name "St. Monica's Kneeler?" Well, St. Monica is my patron saint and I frequently ask for her intercession, along with a litany of many other saints. Now that I have children, I can identify with her constant prayers for her children and the anguish she must have felt over St. Augustine before his conversion. Many other blogs have cool Latin names, but I won't really have a good grip on Latin until I begin homeschooling my kids.

Like many folks, I was raised Catholic and never lost my faith, but stepped away from actively practicing it while I was in college and for a period of time afterwards. My parents were saints. My father spent some time questioning Catholicism when I was very young, while my mom faithfully took my brother and me to church. Once all my father's questions were answered satisfactorily, he came back to the church with a vengeance. He became a Third Order Discalced Carmelite who went to daily mass, said the rosary and daily office, was devoted to Our Lady, and was an incredibly vocal apologist for the Faith. He also was an ex-navy guy, so he had a pretty colorful vocabulary and sense of humor. Since his passing, I have been trying to follow his example and find my way spiritually, which isn't always easy for a snarky, stubborn first-born.

I come from a long line of Catholics. In researching my family tree (genealogy is a huge hobby for me), I have only found one line that wasn't Catholic and they were English (I don't admit to having any English blood in me ;) ). It is unfortunate that my cousins and other relatives haven't had the experience that I have had in researching my ancestors and learning all they did just to practice their faith and what they sacrificed to remain Catholic. Maybe many of my relatives wouldn't be so quick to "jump ship" if they knew some of the history, some of the sacrifice. Many of the problems they cite for divorcing or being a "cafeteria Catholic" pale in comparison to things our ancestors dealt with just to survive as Catholics. All of my immigrant ancestors, to some degree, came to the US to be able to practice their faith. My northern German ancestors had had enough of the likes of Gustavus Adolphus, Napolean and Martin Luther and all the subsequent pressure it put on them to become Protestant. My Irish ancestors, well, we all know about Cromwell (hence, my unwillingness to admit to English ancestry :) ).

Anyway, that's me. My first post. Please bear with me. I hope to spruce up the blog once I have some time to take a look at the HTML. Just in the process of writing this post, my daughter, who is almost two, has eaten part of a crayon and played in the toilet, so you see what I'm up against just to get some words on the screen. Please pray that tomorrow will be less exciting...at least in my world.

3 comments:

Ray from MN said...

Welcome to St Blog's Parish, Swissmiss. It's wonderful to have you hear.

You might want to stop in at the rectory, register, and see who else is a member of the parish.

http://stblogsparish.com/blogs/bloglist.php

I'll spread the word of your arrival.

Personally, being a nut about Irish (Counties Kerry & Waterford)(and Polish) genealogy for a very long time, I'll also have other things to chat with you about.

Thank you for letting me know about St Monica's Kneeler. What a great name! And a great image of St Monica! I just read Belloc's book on her recently.

Ray from MN
Stella Borealis

Sanctus Belle said...

Welcome to the Minnesota Catholic Blogging Community! I enjoyed you first post and look forward to more! God bless you!

swissmiss said...

Ray:

My Irish ancestors, of which there are many, are primarily from Newport, County Mayo; Loughrea, County Galway, and Crookstown, County Kildare. Polish, my husband's family is "Polish." Actually, they are German and spoke German, but moved there during the time of Catherine the Great who coaxed Germans to come to what was then part of Russia. I tease my husband that he's Polish, but I really think that his father's family is Belgian and his mother's family is German. A few years back, I made a reservation at B&B in Brugge and the lady asked me if I was coming to visit family since the town was full of folks with my husband's surname. Don't get me started on genealogy, I could type forever.