Then And Now

Oct. 21, 2009

I grew up as a coal miner’s daughter in a very small mining town in Pennsylvania: I lived in a home with an outhouse until my dad built us an indoor bathroom; our town had four streets, a word that seems too big for what these roads were; mailboxes on a wooden rack at the bottom of the hill; a church known as the Holy Roller Church, the only public building in our town; and a spring from which we got our water in the summer. The two wooden school buildings were about a half mile outside of town. That was then.

Now I am a Catholic nun, living in an apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, using a computer every day, don't like to leave my home without my cell phone, and when I travel far or to a new place I rely on my GPS.

I was born fat, remained fat all through my grade school and high school years. As a child, sports was never my thing; neither was mastering the ordinary things other kids did, like riding a bike or learning how to skate. That was then.

Now, I lift weights three times a week, do aerobics three days, and enjoy another forty-five minutes on the Wii Fit every day except Sunday which is my day for Wii Sports.

Then, as a teenager I was the accordion player in our family band, and even earned enough one summer to pay my high school tuition, which was not much in the late 50’s.

Now, I still have my accordion and the last time I played, I performed two pieces for a surprise ending to a presentation I gave at my church. And I had to practice for weeks!

In college one of my teachers told me that I sat in class like a piece of cheese, never raising my hand, never volunteering an answer even though she knew that I knew the correct answer. I had always been shy. That was then.

Now, I give talks, enjoy leading discussions, and have been heard saying that there isn't a microphone I don't like.

Then I believed in a God who was a white man living somewhere above the clouds keeping track of everything I did, good and bad. I prayed to Him for good things for my family, for me, and thought that if I did the right things my life would work out the way I wanted, and everyone I loved would be safe. But, in the back of my mind I wondered why the God whom I believed was good allowed bad things to happen.

Now I still believe in God, but He/She is neither male nor female, and can be called both Father and Mother. The God I now believe in is everywhere and in that sacred Presence is everyone and everything not only in this world but the entire universe. I've survived things like job loss and unexpected deaths. Bad things happen and sometimes I have no explanation, but God walks with me through the good, the bad, and the awful.

I'm a long way now from then; the journey continues!


About the author: Sr. Christine Kresho, a Sister of St Joseph for fifty-one years, presently serving as a Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Grace Church in Leisure World, Silver Spring, MD.

Previous ministries:
· elementary school teacher for 12 years
· principal for 11 years
· computer teacher, Area Manager and Director of School Operations
· Assistant and/or Marketing Manager: Don Bosco Multimedia; US Conference of Catholic Bishops; William H. Sadlier, Inc.
· Educational Consultant: William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Books published: At the Last Supper (Wings ePress, 2005); Sacred Betrayal (Publish America 2007)

Website: Chris ETC. http://home.catholicweb.com/srchris

Email: CKcsj@aol.com

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