Last month a lovely woman named Margaret Colasurdo invited me to visit her Clyde home for a novena to St. Anne. Colasurdo has hosted this nine-day novena at her home each year since 1955, when she and her husband, Joseph, installed a homemade shrine to St. Anne in their back yard.
I drove out to Clyde on July 19 for the third evening of the novena, and Colasurdo greeted me warmly when I arrived. As she showed me the shrine she has carefully maintained for the past 56 years I was impressed by her devotion to the saint and to her Catholic faith in general.
I was just as impressed by the faith of the two dozen people who’d gathered for the novena. Many of them had been coming to the novena since Colasurdo started it, and it clearly was important to them.
The novena used to draw more than 100 people, but Colasurdo said attendance has dropped off as elderly participants pass away and younger people fail to take their places. I was a bit saddened as I wondered why the younger generations sometimes don’t seem to place as much importance on novenas and other devotions.
When the novena began, I dutifully wrote down the names of the prayers being recited and recorded a few details to set the scene for the article. After that, however, I began to pray myself, focusing on a few specific intentions that had been on my mind recently. As I prayed I began to feel blessed to have a job that doesn’t require me to hide my faith or check it at the door.
As I pulled away from Colasurdo’s home later that evening, the sadness I’d felt before had been replaced by feelings of peace and contentment. Have you experienced similar situations?