On the Road

​Skipping for Joy

Written by: Denise Serafini on Saturday, May 27, 2017


On Friday, May 19, the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle hosted “Call from the Crucified Heart.” This church shares space with its school gymnasium. It seems they take down the altar and reposition the chairs for each transition between Holy Mass and school-related events. The Knights of Columbus members have and will continue to take on this responsibility until a formal church can be built. What an overwhelming commitment they make to assure that the space can be shared. As a matter of fact, we waited patiently in the hallways for the completion of the graduation ceremony in the same space just before our presentation. True to their reputation across all of Utah, the knights helped us get our equipment in place in short order so we could still begin on time.


We had the participation of Deacon Duane Padilla and two translators for the Spanish version of the meditations. They each executed on their roles perfectly. We had a full choir with keyboard and violin to round out the overall presentation.

Both Jean and I were amazed at the number of families with children in attendance. This was a very engaged congregation and as it turns out we even had representation from the Mormon Tabernacle (Utah is, after all, Mormon country). The bishop was asking lots of questions as he passed through the veneration line. We welcomed him with open arms and joined with their Catholic friend to help explain the circumstances relative to each of the artifacts in our collection. There must have been a communication that went out or perhaps it was simply word of mouth that prompted so many people to bring bundles of sacramental items to touch to the relics. People had bags full of pictures, crucifixes, medals, statues, etc. to touch to the relics and they seemed to have a true excitement in presenting them.

I watched with great interest as one family came forward to venerate. For some reason they seemed to stand out for me. The parents were smiling and explaining the details of Christ’s Passion to their children as they stopped at each of the relics. The children were intent on listening to grasp the full concept of what their parents were explaining to them. When they had completed the process the mother proceeded into the lobby with the the three children joyfully skipping behind her, while the father stayed back. He got down on his knees on that gymnasium floor and remained in prayer for what seemed to me a very long time. Perhaps he was taking the opportunity to speak with Jesus about the crosses he is bearing in solidarity with Our Lord and Savior.

St. Andrew the Apostle was the older brother to St. Peter. The Gospel of John tells us that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John the Baptist stated, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" It is then that Andrew and another made the decision to follow Jesus. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion, however he was bound, rather than nailed, on a cross form known as "crux decussata," which is an X-shaped cross or a "saltire,” commonly referred to as "St. Andrew's Cross." It is believed that Andrew requested to be crucified this way, because he deemed himself "unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus.". St. Andrew was also known for having good social skills.  It was an honor to have his relic on hand in a church named in his honor.

Like St. Andrew we are all called to carry our own crosses in line with the Fathers Will and each of our crosses is unique for our particular circumstances in life, very similar to the father of that family. St. Andrew is the model for how we should do that with a smile on our face and joy in our heart as an example among all of Christ’s children. Unlike the children in that little family, for most of us, skipping is optional.