Making a Church

Feast of St. Lucy, Martyr
December 13, 2021, Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;

    teach me your paths,

Guide me in your truth and teach me,

    for you are God my savior.  – Psalm 25: 4-5

I’m making a Church! 

Our two-year was putting together a little 6-piece puzzle of a Church during Mass. The book has a prayer accompanied by a puzzle that snaps into place. Each time he assembles the scene about going to mass he announces “I am making a Church”.   


Many countries celebrate today’s Feast of St. Lucy with candlelight processions, reminding us that we each bear Christ, bringing hope and light into the world. When I look around, I see a lot of darkness. I see people struggling with depression, substance abuse, or loneliness. I see people struggling to find affordable housing. I see people lost, or without a sense of purpose in life. I also see Churches struggling with empty pews and disengaged hearts. Everywhere, there is darkness. 

But all around, there is also light breaking through that darkness. There are people of light with generous hearts, the sympathetic listener, the patient customer service representative, the supportive coworkers. There are moments of light: an unexpected compliment, a meaningful conversation, a reconnection with a significant positive memory,, a reminder of unfailing support from a loved when when undertaking a new venture. 

As St. Lucy reminds us, there is light all around us even in the darkest of moments. Even in the painful history of our Church, there are people of light breaking through. These people expose injustice,  illuminate truth, and shine hope on a different future. These saints and martyrs among us challenge us to more. As my toddler says, we are “making a church.”  What kind of church will it be? 

Published by jencoito

Jen Coito is a California native with diverse experience in parish, academic, and national ministry settings. She has a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She worked for the California Province of Jesuits for seven years promoting Christian Life Community on university campuses and other diverse ethnic settings. Jen has collaborated on the creation of formation materials, discernment tools, and small group processes that are being used around the country in Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, and English. In 2013, Jen and Jesuit priest Fr. Tri Dinh co-founded Christus Ministries out of a desire to engage local young adults and form young-adult friendly parishes. Jen works for the Sisters of Notre Dame in California as the Associate Director of Mission Advancement. Jen, Jason, and their three children live in Southern California. You can read more of Jen's writings at www.jencoito.com.

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