December - 2011

Family Name: St Germain

Parents: Guy (45), Anne Marie (46)

Children: Marissa (20), Aimee (17), Jacob (15), David (12), Maria (9)

Our questions for Guy and Anne Marie:

Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet?

We live in Manchester, NH on the West side and have been attending Ste Marie Parish for the last 12 ½ years. We met at St John the Baptist Parish Christmas Midnight Mass 25 years ago this year. We were both serving: Guy as an MC and I as a reader. Guess you could say that has characterized our lives together as the St Germain family. We love to serve! We were great friends first, then dated and have been married for 22 years, still the best of friends. Guy currently works at Ste Marie Parish as the plant manager and uses his mechanical talents to repair lawn mowers and snow blowers as a side job. Ste Marie’s also has a FertilityCare Program where I work as a Certified Practitioner and also enjoy educating practitioners around the country as my newest adventure.

We have been homeschooling our five children for the last 15 years and truly enjoy watching each and every one of them discover their God-given talents. Marissa is in her 4th year (of 6) in the doctoral Physical Therapy program at Quinnipiac University and Aimee is in her first year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, studying to become a biomedical and mechanical engineer. As a sophomore at Trinity High School, Jacob is their sports editor and enjoys robotics. David follows in his Dad’s footsteps and is great at repairing things and working hard. Maria charms us with her fashion sense and hopes to use this gift for God some day! We have also been blessed to have two children in heaven, losing them to miscarriage in the last few years. We’ve known how to go without many “things”, having owned our own business for 12 years (Jake’s Bicycle Shop), which we sold in 2007. Perhaps that’s why our most treasured possession is the gift of each other!

What is your favorite family activity?

We love to camp together! Battling the changeable weather, setting up tarp heaven, swimming, chat time on the beach, enjoying a frozen treat at The Store, chanting campfire songs, munching s’mores, meeting new people, playing every card game we know, and lots and lots of laughing! It doesn’t always go smoothly or perfectly, like the time David’s bicycle got stolen or the time we brought Jacob to the hospital: but the joy of being there together battling the odds, laughing and talking and enjoying each other, fills us with a deep kind of happiness. We do love the simple things!

What is a favorite family tradition?

We have so many Advent and Christmas traditions that we treasure. We choose names during Advent…a secret Saint and we do acts of kindness for one another. Used to be we only lit our tree on Christmas Eve, when Jesus the light of the world comes, but this year we changed it to the Feast of St Lucy, Dec 13, because she reflected God’s light to the world. We gather with our extended family to have soup, go Christmas caroling and enjoy a bonfire in memory of our brother-in-law and uncle who passed away Dec 19, 7 years ago. We have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve and visit with our large families on Christmas day. This year we hope to begin a new tradition of lighting a Christmas candle, to be passed down through the generations.

How does your family pray together?

One of our favorite prayer times is when we incorporate Lectio Divina. During this time, the children come out with the most profound thoughts in the reflections on the Word of God. We struggle with being consistent, and excel at having tried many ways to pray together. We’ve prayed the rosary together, Mass during the weekdays , and our latest attempt is Night Prayer. It’s short and brings us together at the end of the busy day. We have some months that are better than others in our consistency. Serving is also prayer time for us. Every Thursday we enjoy spending the day with my elderly mother having her hair done and bringing her food shopping. Definitely celebrating the Eucharist, going to Mass together is our most consistent family prayer time. The best part is that we keep trying to be better at being together in this way with our Lord as the center of our lives.

What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?

Keeping balance in our lives. We live in this world, and we do not want to be consumed by it. Seems like we are always limiting activity: the ipod time, games and tv time, computer and facebook time, all the while realizing these things are part of our world. Keeping our faith fervent and alive as we go amidst our travels, to college or across the country or to the local guy who needs a new snowblower is our constant challenge and greatest joy!

What will your family focus on this Christmas season?

Abiding. Being with each other. Treasuring our extended families. Enjoying the time we have with one another. Taking the time first of all to be present to our God who came to earth to save us and just BE WITH US. Emmanuel, God with us. That’s what we want to focus on in this season, just BEING together.

Thank you St Germains! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.

Carolyn McKinney