Visiting Childhood Church in Kansas City Brings Memories and Understanding
My sister, Karen Mestrovich Seay, and I did a walk through of our childhood days at St. John the Baptist Church (K.C., Ks.) last week on my visit to meet two new grand nephews. It is where we attended Mass 6 days a week, before school every day and on Sunday from Kindergarten to 8th grade. So many memories flooded in….from sore knees with ample kneeling, to prayer caps, giggling in church which was forbidden but delicious,and the aroma of Frankincense during Mass which remained forever in the church.
While we have both grown into an eclectic philosophy and practice of our spirituality, we value all we have learned from many facets of good intentioned living in our world.
Our Croatian grandmother, Katarina Mestrovich, always lit candles for those who had passed away on the left side altar. Karen and I repeated this in reverence of our ancestors.
Mom was southern Baptist, denied being baptized as a Catholic after studying intensively. Archbishop Hunkler proclaimed her unfit to be a Catholic since she had been divorced. Ironically, at that same time period Princess Lee Radziwill, Jacqueline Kennedy’s sister, was in the same position wanting to become a Catholic after her divorce. She donated $5,000 to the Vatican and was able to be baptized. We could not afford that nor would our Dad ever buy the right to worship in a church. It was the turning point for my sister and me to look in other directions for spiritual inspiration.
Dad was Croatian Catholic. Being married to a southern Baptist who was denied entrance into the Catholic religion was not settling for any of us. We learned first hand about discrimination in our childhood within the parish walls. More details can be found in my selfl-help memoir, The Grandma Boom Chronicles…More Alive at 65! (Amazon, Renaissance Rose, Bloomsbury)
No wonder my sister and I are eclectic and loving being just that! Grateful! It’s all good when it is used to grow and open the heart! #earthisheaven@67
As published at Ashland Daily Tidings