Parish Stories

St. John Neumann, East Freetown

East Freetown, MA Diocese of Fall River


“Christ at the center”

Caitlin Winters

For several years the walls of my home had been the same tan color. Its neutrality and tone served us well, hiding the little fingerprints and scuff marks that come with family life, but the little ones grew out of the toddler stage and the house was overdue for a refresh. 

I knew where I wanted to start, the front living room, where we receive our guests and welcome each other home. 

I flipped through paint samples for days, finally choosing the lightest blue for the walls and the brightest white for the trim. It was a cleanable, smudge resistant paint that promised to cover the old color in one coat. 

I rolled up my sleeves, rolled on the color and the room was transformed. The walls opened up, the shadows in the corners were replaced by bouncing light. Taking it in was like a breath of fresh air.

Though I moved the furniture back in its place and used the same plants and decorations, everyone who saw it was enchanted. My husband even said to me “Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t imagine another color in this room!” 

I was well pleased with my choices, favoring blues, reminiscent of Mary, the past several years but I didn’t think much of it beyond aesthetics. 

One afternoon I ran out for a small can of paint to continue my touch-ups and stopped by the chapel at St. Michael’s Church. I frequent the chapel there, as it’s always available and not too far from home. 

I’ve done it all in that place. I’ve rejoiced, I have cried, I’ve prayed out loud and sat with Jesus in comfortable silence. In good times and bad, I have run to that chapel, or been beckoned there by the cross on its proud steeple that reminds me who waits for me therein. 

It’s Jesus Christ, fully present, body, blood, soul and divinity under the appearance of a Eucharistic host. Oh the comfort there, the holy longing, the peace unsurpassed by any other place short of His presence!

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