My church…standing in the light.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Atlanta

I counted today – I have 119 posts to go until December 31.

Is this what they mean by “the end is near?”

Good thing I went to church today.


So, I’m Catholic. A practicing Catholic. And I am therefore supposed to (required to) go to church every Sunday.

I am also (super old school here) supposed to tithe, i.e. give 10% of my income to the church. However, since I have a very modest (okay, pathetic) income and basically live off my husband, I’m just going to pretend, for the purposes of giving myself one day a week off from this blog, that I’m making a reasonable income and go from there. So every Sunday – all year long –I’m going to be giving $100 to Our Lady of Lourdes my amazing, adorable church in the heart of the Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district in Atlanta.

Our Lady of Lourdes was founded in 1912 as an African-American Catholic community, financed by Mother Katharine Drexel – a rich Main Line, Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and donated her fortune to serve Native American and Black people. From the steps of OLOL (no relation to LOL, kids) you can see Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his father, grandfather, and brother all preached); and the neighborhood infuses the church’s soul.

I love OLOL so much, it’s ridiculous. It’s small, it’s mighty, it has awesome music (thanks to our Minister of Music and chair of Spelman College’s Department of Music, Dr. Kevin Johnson), and it’s got our brand-new pastor: Father Jeffery Ott, a Dominican friar from New Orleans, and our new Assistant Pastor Father Bruce Schultz … not to mention our affable, groovy deacon, Chester Griffin (whose beautiful wife Janis also leads the choir), a liturgical dance company called Amazing Grace, and some highly gifted & competitive sports teams (of which I’m not a member).  I’m not sure if you know many Catholics, but I can tell you for sure, we’re not the monolithic, homogenized, “jump to the Pope’s every proclamation” pack of lemmings that you may think. I, for one, believe that the church’s stance on birth control is socially irresponsible, morally insupportable, and just plain nuts.  But I also think the church’s position on poverty, social responsibility, gun control, the death penalty, immigration, health care, equality, civil rights, justice, peace, and charity is truly inspired.

For these reasons – and for the reasons I’ll add every Sunday that I go to church and am freshly inspired (or spiritually challenged), I’m making this my weekly tithe. And if you can find a church you love even half as much as I love Lourdes, you’ll feel blessed to support it, too. I promise.

3 thoughts on “My church…standing in the light.

  1. LOL! This one really IS LOL 😉

    I had no idea you were Catholic until I read this.

    Nice. What I do definitely agree with you is that we Catholics come in different varieties. As people in any Belief, Denomination, Religion Do.

    There are the Libs, The Conservatives, the Practicing, the Non-Practicing, etc.

    I, myself, am a Cradle Catholic. Born, raised but not thoroughly Educated in my Faith. I have maybe a 5th or 6th Grade Equivalent in our Faith. I am currently trying to learn and grow in my Faith. And while doing so, am sharing my Perceptions. Hence, why I’m on WP.

    The one thing I can say for CERTAIN about the Catholic Church is this…It is Flawed. It is Imperfect. How can it not BE? It is on Earth, with Sorry, Sinful Creatures. Anything we touch, we run, we associate with, will be Flawed. 🙂 Plain and simple. Does this mean that because it IS flawed we should just do away with it?
    HECK NO! Clay Jars!
    As St. Paul points out, we are Clay Jars. While we may not be Perfect, Beautiful, Holy, we can Contain these Qualities in many areas and THIS is what we need to learn and grow from. 🙂

    Here is a Link to Deacon Dodger’s Blog. This Precise Post is on Jars of Clay. He is Amazing, I love his writing. I also appreciate his honesty. I do Sincerely hope you will read this:

  2. Dear Betty
    I want to offer a little encouragement for those 119 daysto come! Sorry I’ve not told you more frequently how valuable this project has been. I am near tears, joyful, blessed, humbled, ….. over and over again as I read about the wonderful people and projects you have been finding. Yes!Magazine is the closest thing I’ve found that provides anything like this. It is a great work you are doing to get this good news out to help counter the nay-sayers and distortionists and malcontents. Thank you SO much! I look forward to 119 more days of GOOD news in my mailbox and send you gratitude and

  3. what a beautiful church!
    I agree with you, in the aspects of the church ..
    I believe that charity movements are very important…
    to be honest, I’ve had many problems with the church
    with a lot of hypocrisy that happening in there …
    though all this, I believe that God is the main source of inspiration for the good things that can happen there… and they bring nice things to the society in several aspects…

    sorry if my english is bad … but as I told you I’m Brazilian!

    One day I can discuss with you about the political atrocities that happen here!
    you will be shocked!

    hugs and kisses

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