Saints inspire confirmation students at Albia parish

Judy Belzer

(Editor’s note: Confirmation students at St. Mary Parish in Albia reflect on the saints’ names they have chosen. The 10th-grade students will be confirmed April 25 at St. Mary Church.)

Judy Belzer:

I chose St. Mary Magdalene because there are so many people in my life who have influenced me with the name Mary. My great-grandma, Mary Scieszinski, died last summer and even though I didn’t know her real personality before her stroke, I heard so many stories about how good a person she was and how she led her life as a very holy and committed Catholic woman.

Also, my next-door neighbor, Mary Yarkosky, was a very special person in my life. She was the nicest and kindest person you would ever meet, and she always wanted what was best for people. Mary always showed her devotion to her faith by being involved, taking care of her family and by praying and attending church every week. My sponsor’s name is Mary Ellen Stuchel, who is my aunt. I am very close with her, and have always looked up to and respected her. I wanted her to share this experience with me.

St. Mary Magdalene was an interesting saint to choose because she made a big turn-around in her life. She started out her life a very sinful person. After meeting with Jesus, she became more holy and changed her life. From then on she led a prayerful life. She was known to be at the crucifixion of Jesus. She was also thought to be the first recorded witness of his resurrection. The lesson to learn from this is that God will always forgive you if you are truly sorry, and that is what can make your faith grow and be stronger.

Ashley Ambrose:

The saint I have chosen is St. Matthias. There are many reasons why I chose him. I knew that I would want to hold a special place in my heart for my saint, so that I could remember him throughout my life. Matthias was my grandfather’s middle name. Even though I never got to meet my grandfather, I look up to him in many ways. My mom has told me much about him and that he was always strong in his faith. Down on his knees in the morning and at night. Only letting my mother miss church twice in her childhood.

I know my Catholic faith wouldn’t be as strong now if it weren’t for him. Also, St. Matthias’ story struck me when I read it. He was chosen as the 12th apostle because he followed Jesus through everything. They said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.” I believe St. Matthias will help me follow Jesus through everything in my life, just as St. Matthias did. He can truly show me that the Lord knows everyone’s heart and lead me to the right direction.

Derek Rockwell:

My saint choice was St. Christopher. He is very special to me. I would say the main reason that I chose him was because my Grandma Sinnott got me a St. Christopher medal as a gift for my first Communion. I got a new one, but it is just as special because I had Father bless it at my Grandma Sinnott’s funeral. I just feel like I have a little more memory of her when I wear it. I also feel like St. Christopher watches over me and protects me when I am wearing it. That is why I chose St. Christopher.

Carrie Clark:

I am taking the name of Cecilia for confirmation this year. I chose her to be my saint for she is the patron of music, musicians and poets. Though I am not a huge fan of poetry, I thought she was a good inspiration for my saint. Cecilia lived during the second century in Italy. As a young girl, she wanted to give herself to God, but her parents forced her to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. Cecilia ended up converting him and his brother Tiburtius to Christianity. It is said that all three of them died as martyrs.

It is also said that Cecilia was condemned to be suffocated in the bath of her house, but she remained unhurt, so the executioner struck her with a sword on her neck three times. Miraculously though, she lived for three days. During this time, she asked the pope to make her home into a church. Her remains were taken to Rome where Pope Urbanus buried her in a basilica there.

Cecilia’s pictures remind us that the Catholic Church has always recognized the power of music and song. Personally, I believe the saying that “singing is praying twice.” I back this up by singing in St. Mary’s youth choir, as well as serving as a cantor at 5:10 p.m. or 10:30 a.m. Masses.

No matter what kind of mood I’m in, I know that there is always a song to sing that lets me express myself and my feelings. Cecilia’s feast day is Nov. 22, while my birthday is on the 20th of the same month. This will help me remember her special day, while I can pray to her to intercede on my behalf to God to make the next year as great as my previous years.

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