|St. Martha Catholic Church, Sarasota, FL|
|St. Martha Catholic Church right in the heart of downtown Sarasota|
During our first few months of marriage, we searched many different parishes in the area. We had tried to attend Mass at St. Martha regularly but searched other Church bulletins for ministries where we could get involved as a couple. I was able to find a couple of prayer groups at two different Churches. One prayer group was at Incarnation Church in Sarasota. The other prayer group was at St. Joseph Church in Bradenton. I attended both groups regularly for a few months but still had not found a parish to call home. I liked both groups but Incarnation was just too far and St. Joseph had a smaller group than what I was used to. We continued to pray and search for a Church that we both could call home.
We kept searching for young adult groups but did not see any information regarding young adult ministry in any of the bulletins. We were starting to consider becoming involved in youth ministry and hope that the young adults who led the youth would be interested in starting a young adult ministry. I was a bit hesitant on the idea as I had previously had an unfortunate experience when I was a youth minister. Unfortunately, it had left a bitter taste and I was not able to move past the experience. I was afraid it would happen again and I did not want that to leave another sour taste and lead me to draw away from Church and the ministries that I do love. We continued to try to attend Mass at St. Martha and search for the ministry that I was so in desperate need.
During our early months of marriage, we also had been researching NFP instructors so that we could learn the proper method and begin to practice it for times it is necessary to prevent pregnancy. I had called the diocese and they gave of the name of the couple in our diocese who teaches NFP. We were lucky enough that Ryan and Afra Beggy lived right here in Bradenton and we would not have to travel very far to learn about NFP. I was excited to make my first phone call to them. In my conversations with both Ryan and Afra, I learned that they were also the head of a young adult ministry at St. Joseph Church. I was so excited to hear that there was the ministry which I had been looking for since I moved to Bradenton. We had wanted to try and meet with them but had so many conflicts early on that we just could not coordinate our schedule. It was at this time we continued to prayerfully consider if St. Joseph was going to be the parish where we would finally call home. I had already been attending prayer group and now there was young adult and NFP through this parish. It was slowly becoming more evident that this was going to be the place where we would call home.
|St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bradenton, FL|
|St. Joseph young adult group t-shirt|
After registering at St. Joseph, we learned of the Church mission on stewardship. I was eager to attend all three nights and learn more about what kind of ministries and stewardship our new parish had planned. During the mission, I became even more excited that St. Joseph was trying to ignite a new stewardship program in their parish. I finally had found a Church that we both could call home where we can become active members and raise our children in a loving Church family. We are both excited to get in on the ground level of St. Joseph's stewardship program. As young adults, we know that we will be the core of the Church in the future. We are excited as a young married couple to get our family involved in Church stewardship from the very start even before children. Twenty years from now I want our entire family active and excited about being stewards of our faith and Church.
We still love St. Martha Church. They offer 4 different times for daily Mass and Confession every day including two times on Saturday. We still go there for daily Mass at times before Kris has to be at work or for special occasions. We will always have a special place in our hearts for St. Martha Church and Fr. Fausto.
Thank you St. Joseph Church for being the Church family for us. We pray that we will grow as a couple and a family with your Church. We hope to be part of your family for a long time to come.