Carole Thomas

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

St. Basil’s: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways …”

I spend 40 minutes each way on the subway to come here, yet I do not feel my time is wasted. There is always something I can take away from my Sunday experience

Masses here last one hour, including a homily of 10 minutes. In this hour, there is ample time for introspection and prayer. The homilies are geared towards people who think, rather than addressing the ‘simple faithful’.

I have been blessed with several ‘talents’ in my stewardship of life: among them are writing and music. In my previous parish I was able to join a choir, yet found myself often tiptoe-ing through the minefield of parish politics until the choir eventually imploded. The music here is a pleasure to listen to, adding to my whole prayer experience. And the members of the congregation actually sing, a welcome change for me.

I feel comfortable here. There is an obvious strong sense of community: greeters at the door actually greet people, making me feel welcome. There are many opportunities to join in – the choirs, children’s liturgies, the book club, and various other ministries open to all.

Prayer with and for each other is welcomed in the ‘intentions’ basket. One can write an intention, asking for another’s prayer, and/or take a previously written intention that someone else has left there.

And finally, what once was in danger of becoming a crisis in faith has now become for me a renewal of faith, a change of heart that holds promise both for the present and the future.