If our parish church weren’t so obvious or close, I don’t know that we would have made the step towards it.
If the deacon serving as the DRE had been slower to respond or less welcoming, I don’t know that we would have continued past the first encounter. If our priest had been any more of a strict traditionalist, or any less, I don’t know that we would have felt ourselves finding ‘home.’ If the resident bishop were not as pronounced in his heartfelt commitment to the parish, the Church, and Christ, I don’t know that we’d have overcome our scepticism. If the choir were missing or misused or had taken up ‘praise and worship’ music, I don’t know that we’d have been nourished enough to keep attending Mass. If we weren’t lucky enough to be in an old parish with rose windows and gothic architecture, I don’t know that we’d have found enough Catholic aesthetic to sustain our first difficult months.
There is much in the realm of the hypothetical and counter-factual that I don’t know.
What I do know is that I am immensely grateful for the providence that put us here and made the path of responding to the call ever so fruitful.
Gratias autem Deo…