My First Storytellers

I’ve been thinking about my religious upbringing. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic elementary school and high school, and attended daily Sunday Mass.

During Sunday Mass, a lay person reads a story from the Old Testament of the Bible. Stories like Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Burning Bush or David in the Lions Den. Then another story from the New Testament of the Bible. Stories of the young church forming after Jesus lived and died and rose from the dead. Then the priest reads a story about Jesus’ life from one of the four Gospels in the Bible. Then the priest closes the Bible and just talks to the congregation. His talk is called the homily. I always enjoyed the homily. I guess because the priest would remind me of the message just read from the Bible but he explained it in a way that computed with my childhood brain. I also liked the singing and the quiet time during Sunday Mass but days later, the story told by the priest during the homily is what stayed with me and helped me to look for ways I could live the message of the Bible throughout the week.

Now I tend to spend my Sundays listening to God as I garden or as I visit with a friend, instead of regular attendance at Mass. Instead, I get my stories here through this blogging community, by reading the Washington Post, by listening to Rachel Maddox smartly report on MSNBC, by reading YA novels, by reading twitter posts from my favorite literacy minds and authors, by asking my students about their day and listening to their stories.

I guess you could say that Catholic priests were one of my first storytellers.

6 thoughts on “My First Storytellers

  1. johnrereads says:

    Thanks for the reminder. For me some homilies were amazing others very boring, it often depended upon the priest. During the boring homilies, I often just got caught up in my head creating stories. I wonder if just sitting in a church now would prompt some good ones. I love how you find God in real moments. The universe speaks in many ways : )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dianeandlynne says:

    It is all about story isn’t it? I, too, attended catholic school and daily mass before school started. But the stories we heard often frightened and worried me. Still, they made an impact didn’t they? I like how you talk about hearing God while you garden or visit with a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mschiubookawrites says:

    It is refreshing to hear that you can see God’s stories all around you and how homilies were some of your earliest stories growing up. This post is really stretching my brain and puts into writing how I have been feeling about my son’s religious upbringing. Another thoughtful slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leah McFarlane says:

    I love this, Sally, because my childhood experience was similar. I love the way you describe, “listening to God as I garden or as I visit with a friend. There is so much faith-building that goes on through reading, writing, listening, speaking, and you’ve captured that beautifully.


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