This afternoon, the boys and I arrived home from restorative visit with some dear friends from Ohio. I caught up with a companion from seventh grade onward while our children furthered their skills in Rock Band II and Monopoly. We spend Saturday at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, a destination desired my my guys for quite some time and generally enjoyed by all. While I remain a champion of peaceful conflict resolution, I was repeatedly amazed at planes in the museum’s three large hangers.
This morning, we attended their Catholic church, a change of pace from our usual UU experience. Raised a mixture of Catholic and Methodist (attending both many Sundays of my youth), I chose Catholicism at age 12 and continued with the Catholic church until about six years ago. A few years of a liberal Episcopal experience led to a few years without a church and deep questioning about my beliefs. I found a home in a Unitarian Universalist community a year and a half ago and have never felt more truly at peace in a religious community.
After a bit of prep with the boys on Lent, Mass, and why we wouldn’t be taking communion, I decided we’d join our friends at Mass today. While both boys were baptized Catholic, only my older recalls any of his time in the church. Our friends’ church is university-based with a large non-student congregation at the service we attended. The sanctuary, while large, is non-imposing and quite spare and not at all like the century old meeting house my boys know so well. Despite the size, the room exudes warmth and community, very much like our religious home base. We all settled into our seats and waited for the service to begin.