My church…standing in a snowy light.

The Schall/Londergan/McKenna historic White Christmas!!

Atlanta had a White Christmas yesterday — the first time since 1888!! We marveled, frolicked in the snow, and felt like Bing Crosby. It was spectacular!

I’m posting very, very late today and the snow had nothing to do with it. It was retail disruption.

Lulu, who was dragging me from store to store this afternoon, assured me nobody would notice.

“Nobody reads on Sunday anyhow,” she said incisively.

Gee…that hurt.

Anyhow, in case you ARE reading, you’ll be happy to know that when I went to church this morning, Father Ott gave me a shout-out for my appearance on Martha Stewart. Wow…pulpit recognition. That’s more unexpected than snow in Georgia!

Hope you’re having a beautiful post-Christmas Sunday!

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Atlanta

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.

7 thoughts on “My church…standing in a snowy light.

  1. Lourdes is truly an inspiration for anyone who attends. Warm and energetic, you leave feeling of loved and in awe. Enjoyed that snowy Christmas!

  2. Oh, I am amazed that the last week of your year of giving is here. I have loved every day and will miss this in my mailbox.
    How great to see you so composed and eloquent with Martha. Glad I watched to the end and saw Larry, also.
    And Lulu, Sunday is the day I do most of my reading! xoxo

  3. Saw you on Martha Stewart! So proud of you, and so inspired by your blog and
    your giving, and as always, your wonderful writing! Please let me know what is next for you. I will continue to cheer you, and to be grateful for you. Keep warm
    in the Georgia Christmas snow, and have a delightful much deserved Happy New Year!
    Koleen

  4. We are enjoying a snowy day after Christmas in Philly…they even canceled the Eagles game. Loved seeing you unexpectedly on Martha! Home for the holiday and never home at that time. Have been so inspired by you and your wonderful blog and charity this year Betty! Happiest of New Years to you. Deb,

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