Keeping faith through thick and thin

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton’s St Francis Xavier Cathedral.
Camera IconGeraldton’s St Francis Xavier Cathedral. Credit: Anita Kirkbright

You’ve barracked for a team all your life.

You were officially made a member just weeks after birth and have been there for some big wins. Now it’s loss time, and not only for the main players.

Our team was at its worst when it shuffled and switched our main men around — instead of dropping them from the side or sending them to the interchange bench or seeking aid for their ailments.

Our leaders were showing anything but leadership.

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As a (shocked) supporter, do you jump ship, change colours, run away from your love (the team) and move on?

Some will, but I’m staying put.

Why? Simply, because the Catholic Church — moreso the faith I have, the belief I have there is a God and an afterlife and the good feeling I get from attending various ceremonies — gives me much, spiritually and emotionally.

Many shocking, despicable things have happened in the Church, but the wrongdoers are individuals. Good men and women are now suffering because of it. So is “the team”.

I am not a fanatical barracker, not yelling from the grandstand or the outer and missing matches.

However, I say a prayer or three privately (the last before bed) and do feel “empty” if I go too long without a Mass fix. I love visiting a cathedral, church or chapel, for some time out, peace and a yarn with “The Boss”.

To see the Catholic Church at its best, pop into one at Christmas or Easter, the latter a season of 40 days of fasting and penance (many would say rather ironic timing in view of current matters). But the biggest “feel-good” event is midnight Mass on Christmas Eve/Day — a joyous occasion which attracts even non-believers.

For every rotten apple, there is an orchard of good, great people.

I know, as I have worked with them, spent time with them, watched and listened to them, and, for a year, lived with them.

Look at all the hospitals, aged homes, orphanages, schools, charities, handout organisations and so on the Catholic Church runs. That’s why I am with them.

And if you haven’t got faith and belief in something/someone, then what have you got?

So after 65 years of being a Mick, I’m staying put — wearing the colours for however many winters I’ve left to watch in this game of life.

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