A family like no other. That is the best way I can describe how I feel about the Chinese Catholic Community I have grown up in. From the day I was born, I’ve always known the people of this community to be my second family. The compassion and love they show towards each other is not like other churches. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on countless church retreats with them; they always have a way of making wherever we are, feel like home. I’ve been incredibly blessed to be a part of such a caring community and will continue to praise our Lord with their support and love.
Going to Mass as a child had a much different perspective than going to Mass at the age of 18. Although we had Sunday school every week, the lessons never felt tedious to learn. The stories of Jesus’ life were told in ways that grabbed a child’s attention. It was interesting to hear all the miracles Jesus performed and the hardships He went through to save humanity. As I grew older, I began to see Jesus’ lessons take hold in the community right before me. The passion and love that allowed Jesus to sacrifice so much for us was easily seen in the people of this community. It was inspiring to see the acts of kindness that happened each Sunday. From holding the doors open for the elderly, to preparing massive trays of noodles to share after Mass, the love never stopped spreading from person to person. The love will never stop spreading for as long as our community continues to believe and spread the word of God.
Being older and more able to understand the Mass each Sunday, I’ve come to see the cycle of love and lessons progressively broaden throughout our Chinese community. As we continue to grow in numbers, we continue to grow in faith and love for each other. We have faced hardship and loss throughout the years we’ve been together, but we’ve faced them together. The community is more than just a group of people. We are a family. We have always been there for each other and we always will be. My experience with this church community was and is amazing but it’s not just my experience. It’s our experience of the whole Church together. I have learned that being independent is important in life, but having the support of a family teaches us the value of love that we need to carry us through the difficult parts of our journeys. They teach me to see the beauty in every one of God’s creations. Some days it’s more difficult to appreciate some of His creations than others, but at the end of it all, being able to have a life here in the United States surrounded by loving people proves that His creations exist all around us in the bonds we form and relationships we cherish.