Pope Benedict XVI has called for a YEAR OF FAITH from October 11th of this year to November 21st 2013 to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith. Here in Cincinnati, we are preparing actively for the year of faith. When we looked around we realized there are many beautiful ‘faith stories’ right under our nose! – Beautiful examples of our residents, friends, volunteers faith that would inspire many a person if shared.
Hence, this blog, and hopefully many more to come in the next year – to share the Good News of another faith-filled follower of Christ, and the story of their faith journey.
For our first blog, meet Claire Crawford, one of our long time residents who still resides in our apartments here at St. Paul’s/Archbishop Leibold Home for the Aged. Claire runs the Country Store in our home, and touches many people who visit there.
What are your thoughts on this and what does the gift of faith mean to you in your life here to day?
My faith is like my life blood. I could not live without it. Old age and infirmities are not fun. But in the context of faith, by uniting with Christ in his suffering, I find purpose and meaning. I can never be sufficiently grateful to the sisters who gave me a good Catholic education which helped me all along my life especially in the choice of a partner who was a kind, caring man and a good father to our eleven children. My faith came into play very much in raising our children because I was always calling to the Lord for help. I think this is a job no one is trained for. But I’m so grateful to God that they all turned out to be fine citizens and I’m very proud of them. Transferring into this Home was also a big step for me but I knew the Lord was leading me here.
Do your children practice the faith? How do you feel about this and what do you do.?
The changing culture of the sixties affected the Church and in a special way our young people. Unfortunately it touched our family. My daily prayer for them is that God’s love will overtake them and bring them back. I know He will because I believe God is greater and stronger than any culture.
How do you express your faith in your daily life?
My day begins with prayer. I have a list of people who have asked my prayers over the years. The list is now very long but I pray for them every morning. I carry them all ion my heart as I go to Mass. Daily Mass of course is not an obligation but it is something I want to do. At times I’m not feeling fantastic at Mass but my prayer to Christ Crucified after Holy Communion reminds me of His suffering for me. I love our daily Rosary and helping around, wherever I can, in the laundry or the gift shop or counting money in the parish. Here in the Home there are many opportunities for me to practice charity in community living. It’s also inspiring and helpful to see the faith and courage of so many residents here.
Do you see faith as a “Gift?”
Faith is indeed a precious gift. It was given to me. I didn’t have to work for it only to work to nourish it. When I see so many on EWTN who have to leave family and friends to come to the faith, I thank God for the gift He has given me.
Do you fear death at any time?
No! I look forward to the joys of the next life with God; when I will be with my husband again, meet my mother who died when I was three, my parents and grandparents. My daily Eucharist assures me of this and I suppose I can say “I wait in joyful hope” while enjoying all the good things I have here with the Little Sisters.