My first Iowa home was in Oskaloosa. My parents were students in a Bible college there and met and married at the end of their freshman year. Within a year, my sister was born. Almost eleven months later, I came along.
Wesleyans did not believe in infant baptism, so I was dedicated to God soon after my birth. I am not sure where this took place, but it likely occurred at the Wesleyan church where my father was a student pastor (in a town near Oskaloosa).
Had I been born into a Catholic family, I would have been baptized into the Faith at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
So, I begin with this Iowa parish. Today, I am praying a special prayer for Rev. Thomas J. Spiegel and St. Mary's in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
May those who are not Catholic - yet live near this parish - see the light of the St. Mary's laity lived out in the community. And may the Holy Spirit bring about many conversions through their faithful witness, with that same divine breath that came upon a young Jewish girl in Nazareth.
Blessed first day of the first week.