The staff at St. Mary Parish wishes to welcome Laura Skokowski to our team as one of two new part-time parish receptionists! Please feel free to stop by and say hello and introduce yourself. Her hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 am-12:00 pm.
I am married, blessed with a truly wonderful husband, a man of integrity and faith. We have raised nine children together for the last nine years, the two youngest are seniors in high school. I am the part-time morning receptionist at St. Mary’s Church. I am also the night-time weekday manager for the Pay-It-Forward House in Sycamore.
I grew up thinking I would do something great with my life, and by great I meant something that would bring me fame or fortune. It was not to be. But, then, maybe that is the wrong definition of great. Maybe great is really being small, being of service, being humble. My lifelong journey is teaching me that. It isn’t being the most beautiful, the most popular, the one who knows all. For none of us can truly be that and be true to our call as daughters and sons of God. What we look like on the outside, what we acquire, where we live truly makes no difference to God. How our heart serves is what matters.
I think of my life in phases: the desperate to be noticed phase, the searching phase, the traumatic phase, searching again and, finally, the peaceful phase. All the trauma, the emotions that I ran through fulltilt have forged me into the being I am today. I could not empathize, nor feel for others the way I do had I not experienced my life. During those times, I was desperate for even the basic necessities of life. I prayed and prayed and God never deserted me. I look back and can see a quilt of small miracles stitched together on prayer. And, there are the holes where there was no prayer. My friends have seen me through so much and they are the family I was able to choose. I love them dearly and I would describe myself as the comfortable old slipper…you know, the one lost under the bed, but the one you always seek out when you need warmth and familiar. What a lovely person to be!
I have truly experienced miracles in my life. I have seen God face to face as an 11 year old. I have seen the angels save my children over and over again. Things that could not be explained logically. One would think that I would have the faith of a mustard seed and could move mountains. Faith, though, for me is an ever-changing, fluid presence. As I age, I see things differently; I am starting to see the pieces fitting together. We are all that quilt, that puzzle…and until we die, God will be putting us together. Thank goodness He isn’t finished with me yet!
Thank you, Marlene!
After 8½ years of dedicated service to our parish, Marlene Norris, who was our parish receptionist, has retired. We will miss her and we wish her all the best as she begins a new chapter in her life. Thank you for everything (and it was a lot) that you did for the parish. God bless you.