As a priest I’ve come to like sticky pews.
Researchers and demographic experts study which states are the “stickiest.” They define a “sticky state” as a state “in which a high share of the adults who were born there live there now.” For example, Minnesota is one of the high sticky states. Compared to other states, a high percentage of people born in Minnesota remain anchored here for the rest of their lives.
So, with that understanding, you can see why I like “sticky pews.” When people spend time in the pews at Nativity of Mary I would hope that they would encounter God in a way that would make them want to stick around.
Often you parishioners will share with me experiences you have had while visiting another parish – maybe a parish up north by your cabin or one you visited while you were away on vacation. You might be surprised too to know that we get quite a few people from out of town who visit our parish here at Nativity of Mary. They come here for Mass on their way to a sporting event, or the Mall of America, or a family gathering.
I always get a good feeling when these visitors stop to introduce themselves to me. It tells me that something has “stuck” with them. Even though they are away from home and even though they are busy with travel and their other activities, they have taken the time to find a Mass and to celebrate the Eucharist. They leave and I can tell they just feel good and blessed by God in a special way for having come.
People speak about the importance of having a good work ethic and how that contributes to a person’s success and happiness. What a difference it makes when, at the end of a day, we can look ourselves in the mirror, know that we have put in a good day’s work, and we can rest and delight in the fruit of our labor.
How valuable it is too to have good prayer ethic – to know that we have passed a day in communion with God and that in all that we have done we have sought to be ordered by God’s grace and blessings.
Have a nice hot sticky summer. Stick to the pews wherever you go. See how good it feels and the special blessings that God will bring your way.