Mary Marrocco

Mary Marrocco

Dr. Mary Marrocco is an associate secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches. She is also a teacher, writer and lay pastoral worker. Her column, Questioning Faith, features topics about the teachings of our church, scriptures, the lives and writings of the saints and spiritual writers and theologians. She can be reached at marrocco7@sympatico.ca.

Brian and Adin married and lived in Canada. She was originally from the Middle East, he from the British Isles. Over the years, they had to sort out where their differences came from: from different family backgrounds, personal differences or the different nations they’d belonged to.

One day, my brother put a book in my hand. The book, a biography called Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy, appealed to me. I read it into the small hours of that same night.

One of the loneliest moments of my life happened on an Easter Sunday morning.

Growing up by the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, I never thought of water as a resource needing to be conserved, or an essential commodity over which people would fight wars.

Andrew and Martha sat glumly. They were stuck in the same argument they’d had so many times before in their life together as a couple. One stabbed using sharp words, the other stonewalled using the silent treatment.

These winter days, in the “ordinary” time from Christmas to Lent, can be tough.

How difficult is human relationship! How glorious, how deeply and universally sought-after it is! Our hunger for relationship can draw out the best and the worst in us. The deepest wrestling is with one another, in relationship — be it person to person, nation to nation, or Church to Church.  

At a major-league baseball playoff game in Toronto last year, after a questionable umpiring call, disgruntled spectators started throwing beer cans onto the field of play.

Towards the end of the summer, I met my friend John for coffee. A recurring event, not nearly frequent enough, but invariably enriching to heart and mind.

On a rainy Saturday, I joined a unique gathering. In Grimsby Museum, an exhibition long in the making opened — “Sweat Equity: Grimsby Co-operative Homebuilders 1953-1956.” It documents and displays the story of 80 families who co-operatively financed and built their homes. Sixty years later, those houses still grace several lakeside blocks in this Ontario town in the Niagara Peninsula.