A Time to Speak — A View from the Pew

By Joe Bush

This is my “love letter” to the parish of St. Martha.  My wife and I have been blessed to have been members of St. Martha Church for almost 49 years.

As a young married couple with two young daughters, we became members of St. Martha in June 1967. In short order, we added another daughter and two sons.

As the changes called for by Vatican II were being implemented, we felt very humbled to be asked to become members of the first group of teachers of the new CCD program.

Because I had sung with the Holy Name Choral Club and the Latin Chant Choir of Holy Family Church, I quickly joined the choir of St. Martha.  In a few years I was asked to be a cantor and was given the honor of singing the “Exultet” at the Easter Vigil for many years.

It was not just the opportunity to sing that I cherished, it was the giving, sharing and caring of the people of St. Martha.

During the last two years of our oldest daughter’s life, which included many hospitalizations, there were members of the parish who cleaned our home, did the laundry, folded diapers and clothes, cooked meals and in general took care of us in our needs.

With the loss of jobs, there were members who prayed with us and for us and who quietly cared for us. When a new job was found, the parish rejoiced with us. We were able, with the help of family, friends and the parish, to send both daughters to Assumption and both sons to St. Xavier.

We volunteered to be a host couple for the RENEW program and at the completion of the program our group wanted to continue. So for the next 25 years we hosted a prayer group meeting at our home. This group became part of our family.  We shared our faith and love for one another and for everyone at St. Martha who needed our prayers, as well as a helping hand in their time of need.

In looking back at our 49 years at St. Martha, we find ourselves realizing what a gift it was to be part of this parish. Our children grew up to be outstanding human beings who are loving, caring and compassionate to others. They grew up being a part of this community of St. Martha.

As we were kind of a test group for any new directive to come from Vatican II, we were many times feeling our way, but trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Christ had promised to be with us until the end of time, and our faith was strong that with the leadership of our pope, bishops and priests, we would know that the Holy Spirit had never deserted us.

Our communal family of St. Martha has always been there to pray, cry, laugh and help us on our pilgrimage.

As a former tour guide, having attended Mass at many churches, chapels and cathedrals  worldwide, it was always a great feeling to come home to our family of St. Martha.

My wife retired from teaching in the evening religious education program after 23 years. And this year, due to issues of mobility and stability, I retired from the choir. Now
I sing from the pew, and this view from the pew has given me a new perspective as the next generations of singers and musicians provide the liturgical music for this wonderful parish of St. Martha.

Joe and his wife Gloria Bush are members of St. Martha Church.

In this column, “A View from the Pew,” writers are invited to share their personal experiences and observations as Catholics. We would love to hear about your “view from the pew.”
Please send articles to Sal Della Bella, sdellabella@archlou.org, or 212 East College Street, PO Box 1073 Louisville, Ky., 40201, along with your name, parish, contact information and a digital photo, if possible. (For photos, a headshot is preferred.)

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