Doors of Faith

[NOTE: 10/12/2012: This post has suffered a serious editing malfunction and will be reposted shortly].  Over at The Catholic Gene, where I’ve been known to hang out, Lisa/Smallest Leaf had a great idea: we should recnogize the Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI by sharing stories and photos of Catholic churches of our families or ancestors that played a major role in the families’ life of faith.

The Year of Faith begins on October 11, 2012 (the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council) and ending on the Solemnity of Christ the King: November 24, 2013. The Year of Faith is “intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord, capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the door of faith.”

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei for the Indiction of the Year of Faith observed

The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church.

I haven’t got a picture of the door of the church I’m writing about, but I have this photo of the sign in front of the Church.

st joseph church PDR

St Joseph’s Church in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, is more than 290 years old. My wife’s family was part of that parish for seven generations. Her great-great-grandfather was baptized at St Joseph’s in about 1813.  But we know that her ancestors as early as 1722 worshipped at St Joseph’s. Many of her aunts, uncles, and cousins attended there as well.

The faith community at St Joseph’s was extremely important to the family. They were baptized there, confirmed there, married and buried there. Near the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, several family members entered into holy orders.

Joseph Perry Micheau (1890-1983), my wife’s grandfather, wanted very much to be a priest. But then he met Edna Julia Lewis and this tested his resolve in the most severe way.  They wrote each other every week and saw each oth



3 Responses to “Doors of Faith”

  • […] Manson introduces us to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois – a church that was the parish home for his wife’s family for seven generations (since […]

  • I just came across this article on your blog and found your “Doors of Faith” contribution! I apologize for not including it in the carnival – I’ll have to add it in.

    It is hard to imagine seven generations of a family known to have worshipped at the same church. What a legacy!

    Thanks for sharing your family’s connection to St. Joseph’s.

  • I love hearing about long-time church families. Seven generations in one parish is an impressive statistic. I can imagine that the church record books are rich with your wife’s family names.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Craig.

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