North Coast Catholic December 2010 : Page 2

2 Immanuel, the sign of the Lord Denise Bossert entered the Catholic Church in 2005. Her articles have appeared in 41 diocesan newspapers. They trace her journey from Protestant preacher’s daughter to Roman Catholic freelance writer. A virgin with child: s we enter the holiday season, the diocesan staff wish each of you, and your families and loved ones, a peace-ful, blessed and joyous Christmas. Please watch your parish bulletins for a Christmas mes-sage from Bishop Daniel Walsh, which will be distrib-uted at Mass during the close of Advent. We are happy to share this Advent message from our guest con-tributor, Denise Boissert. A The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa continues its commitment to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all young people. We also are eager to reach out to any who have experienced past abuses through clergy, staff or volunteers. If you, or someone you know, has been harmed by sexual misconduct by clergy, a Church employee or volunteer, please contact Julie Sparacio, victims assistance coordinator, at 707.566.3308 or jsparacio@srdiocese.org. If you have cause to suspect young people are currently at risk, contact the local police. I was nearing my ninth birthday. It was the time in childhood when seemingly insignificant experiences be-gin coalescing into memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives – like the sweltering summer day when my best friend and I sat on the sidewalk in front of the parsonage where my family lived. After trial and error, we found a limestone rock, and we practiced drawing stars on the concrete. We had learned a new method, two inverted triangles rather than the star formed by an unbroken sequence of five lines. A lady came up the sidewalk and smiled at our work. She was older than my mother, a member of that in-definable period of woman-hood that exists somewhere between the age of mothers and grandmothers. “Are you Jewish?” She asked the two of us. We stared at her blankly. “That’s the Star of David,” she explained. “The star of my faith.” I looked at my friend. She didn’t know any more about Jewish faith than I did. So we sat in silence. The lady shrugged her shoulders and kept walking. There was a missing link in the chain. We were connected to the lady who paused to talk to us, but we didn’t quite know how we were related. The woman stopped because she wanted to know if we shared a common bond. When we didn’t reply in the way she expected, she just kept walking. We were strangers. She went off to live her life. We kept playing on the sidewalk in front of the pastor’s house on the corner of 2nd and Walnut Streets. Today, I know what the missing link is in the chain that connects me to that woman. In the fullness Liturgical Calendar: St. Francis Xavier, priest Dec. 3 | St. John of Damascus, priest and doctor of the Church Dec. 4 | St. Nicholas Dec. 6 | St. Ambrose, bishop and

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