By Debbie Shannon. Debbie is the Secretary/Center Coordinator at St. Peter’s, but, unofficially, she is known as the center mom.

I’ve been contemplating the month of November. If you summed up November in one word, my word would be “home”.

We are all beginning to turn our minds to Thanksgiving and anticipating the plans we have for America’s official homecoming holiday.  So many of us can hardly wait to “go home”, be with family and old friends, visit childhood memories and fond traditions and stuff our faces with “home-cooking”!

Our last blog post was about Homecoming weekend and the fun time we had seeing all our alumni.  Liela Bayeh (’11) came through the center a few days earlier and made the comment that she loves coming back to St. Peter’s because it “still feels like home.”  Liela graduated in May and is getting her Masters at UT Dallas. While she is actually from the Dallas area, and so has ‘gone back home’ for grad school, St. Peter’s in Waco is still her home, too.

They say, “Home is where the heart is.” I would certainly agree with that. I have lived in 11 different cities in my lifetime. Every time I move, it is so sad to say goodbye to the place I have made my home.  I’ve always hated moving out of the houses that I ‘nested’ in with all the memories they held, yet, I also found that within a relatively short time the new place was just as much home as the one I had left.  I know that is because my heart was always with my family and wherever my family settled, was home.  That’s why I could visit my parents back in Dallas and tell them genuinely, “It is so good to be home!”   Then, travel back to our own house with my husband and children and be so relieved at the end of the trip, to “be back home again.”  I guess I have homes all over the country now.

November 9, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. This is a strange feast that leaves most Catholics wondering…”really?” I know I always  found it strange that we celebrated a building. However, today it took on new meaning. I think it is a perfect November feast day! This beautiful structure may be just a building – magnificent as it is – but it also represents the church home of the Pope as Bishop of Rome.  Likewise, it speaks to that cliche’  “home is where the heart is.”  The Church is our home on earth.  The building represents church as place by giving it a space, but  it is the people that make it home. And I think, God’s heart being always with His Church,  it’s certainly His home, too.  Jesus must love the “homecoming” He experiences at each Eucharistic consecration.  How appropriate that the Mass is in essence, our Great Thanksgiving, and the feast – Divine!

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