Embracing a New Parish

With my upcoming plans of relocating to Cape Girardeau, Missouri I inevitably must accept the challenge of acclimating to a new parish family.  A few weeks ago, I contacted the main Catholic parish in Cape Girardeau and requested they send me a “new member” registration packet.  It arrived today, and I was most impressed with what it included!  I received a beautiful calendar, similar to what is distributed at St. Francis of Assisi every January, a directory of EVERY member of the parish, along with their addresses and phone numbers, a pamphlet of the two main churches in Cape, and the history behind each; both going back to the late 1800’s,  a current bulletin, and listing of all ministries that are available to volunteer for, and a description of their activities.  Most likely, to start with, I will volunteer for the same ministries that I participated in at St. Francis and St. Viator's; Extraordinary Minister, Lector, RCIA Sponsor.  Once I have spent some time in the parish, building friendships and aquiring a comfort level within the church structure, I will expand my scope of “time and talent” and accept a deeper level of participation that is most suited for me.  As mentioned before, there are TWO churches in Cape; both under the direction and supervision of one pastor and his associates.  From what I understand, by placing membership in one, you have dual membership in both.  I’m not quite sure how all of this works out, but I guess it will all be made clear to me once I start worshipsing with them.  Both churches have a deep and rich history within the community; Old St. Vincent’s being the oldest, and most stunning to the naked eye!

Above, is the facade of Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church!  Located on the Mississippi River river front, and completed in 1853, it served both Catholics and Protestants, under the direction of Fr. John Timon, a Vincentian priest.  Below, is a side view of the church.

Most likely, the church I will be attending, on a weekly basis, will be the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation.  Also an older church, with antiquated charm and rich history, it is located just a couple of blocks away from Old St. Vincent’s, on the corner of William and Sprigg streets. Below is an exterior and interior picture of St. Mary of the Annunciation:

Built in 1869, by German immigrants, the church as celebrated numerous additions and renovations, including bells, stained glass windows, and inspiring murals.  Today, much of it’s “old world” interior, including a communion rail,  has been replaced by modern decor.  When entering this Catholic community, my greatest prayer is to find a body of Christians COMPLETELY devoted to the commands of our Lord and Savior, and the precepts of the universal Catholic Church.  Equally, I pray to establish a long list of good friends within the parish, who will be of spiritual support to me as I transition to this new community.    

.© Mary Darby 2016