Parish Stories

St. Mary of the Presentation

Geneva, IN Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend


“God kept nudging and calling.”

Mary Jane Gates

I blessedly grew up in a family where our mom was Catholic; while our dad was not Catholic, he was committed to raising us in the Catholic faith. All of us attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Terre Haute, Indiana, and two of us attended Catholic high school. I spent two years of high school at St. Mary of the Woods for girls aspiring to become Sisters of Providence. 

After high school, I fell away from the Catholic Church off and on for approximately 49 years, with only about seven years in attendance as a Catholic. 

In my heart, I was longing to return to Catholicism, but I hesitated. Why? Why wasn't I snatching the opportunity to go back to my childhood roots, to the traditions I loved in my teen years? But God kept nudging and calling. Finally, I listened to the Voice that never stopped, the Voice of gentle but steady persistence–the Voice that brought me home to the Truth, to the Holy Eucharist, to the Real Presence. 

I attend Mass almost daily at St. Mary of the Presentation in Geneva, Indiana. It is my greatest consolation for all the wasted years of my life. 

Jesus, I am here now, again, where I belong, finally. Never to stray again!

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“My life is so much richer”

Margie Buschur

I grew up in a small midwestern town of about 2,500 people. There were a few factories around and a large number of farmers. My father was a farmer and my mother was a homemaker. They raised a family of eight children. Although they both worked very hard, it was equally important to raise us as “good Catholics.” 

Ours was a predominantly Catholic community and everyone went to Mass on Sunday. Many of us also attended Mass on weekday mornings before school. We sat with our classmates. We went to Confession once a month. We received our first Holy Communion and were confirmed by a bishop who drove almost three hours one way to get there. We also had a Mass when we graduated from high school. There were many impressive things going on at church. We had 40 hours of devotion from time to time, and frequent Benediction. 

In the afternoon of the Sunday before All Souls Day, we would form a procession using the main highway in town and walk to our cemetery about a mile away while praying the Rosary. A homily would follow. 

I married my husband in that same church and raised my children in the Catholic faith. Even though I taught CCD and was involved with the youth group, the busyness of life placed my faith somewhat in the background. This was not intentional; life pulls us in many directions. But it does go full circle. This is what drew me to the Eucharistic Revival and I AM HERE. I think I was thirsty. The Revival and I AM HERE made me realize that Our Lord has been with me every step of the way – through the good and the bad. 

Since I attended the opening meeting of the Eucharistic Revival for our diocese in Huntington, Indiana, I have been drawn in by the faith and desire to be more about Christ’s Body and Blood. I also read the book The Real Presence

Knowing the number of faithful who do not totally believe the Eucharist is truly His Body and Blood surprised me and made me sad. But the Walk With Me event in Warsaw, Indiana, showed me how many people do get it. I felt the Holy Spirit follow us in the procession to the final stop where we witnessed Benediction. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades’ lectures and Mass at St. Charles Parish in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, once again brought alive to me the meaning of Jesus made present. This immersion has definitely deepened my love of the Eucharist. 

We must remember that when receiving His Body and Blood, Jesus is present in us. He told us this Himself and our actions should display this always. 

My life is so much richer knowing the Lord is fully with me during the Eucharist and every moment of my life. I feel it throughout my entire day.

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“What perfect love He has for us!”

Linda Linn

I remember that as a child, a calm came over me every time I received the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist, but I think that somehow I might have become complacent and took it for granted. 

Years later as an adult server, being so close to the miracle of changing bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Our Lord definitely gave me a new appreciation for what happens. I felt a calm come over me I hadn’t felt in a long time, and it happens every time I go to Mass now. 

I feel the love it took for Jesus to take on the form of man and do this for us. Because He became man, He felt every little thorn and every nail that pierced His body. He didn’t have to do this, but He did because of His great love for us. He is willing to forgive our sins no matter how serious or how often we commit these sins. What perfect love He has for us! 

I truly believe this affects how I treat loved ones and people I meet on the street. I also have a deeper appreciation for the Christmas and Easter seasons, as well as Benediction and Adoration. I walk away from these services feeling totally refreshed and loved. I want to return that love any way I can.

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“I am filled with awe and purpose”

Jeanette Johnson

Jesus is Emmanuel – God with us – really and truly in the Eucharist! 

In the Mass and in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, we are in communion with Him and each other, fulfilling His words in Scripture. 

For me, the Eucharist brings Scripture, the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and God's leading in my life all together, fitting in such a way that I am filled with awe, peace, a sense of comfort, strength, and purpose to bring Jesus to my world. What an indescribable gift we receive as frail human beings each time we come to Mass and receive him. 

I love adoration because of the amazing peace and calm that fills my soul.

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Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.

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