Like many, I journeyed back to my hometown for the Thanksgiving holiday to spend time with family and friends. Since moving to DC from New England, these visits home also double as vacation, offering respite from work and worry. Sunday evening, I had the opportunity to attend Mass at the parish where I grew in my faith, was confirmed, volunteered, taught religious education, and began to unravel the gift that Catholicism would be in my life. Much has changed there since then. I don’t know the pastor, the music is different, and there are certainly many more unfamiliar faces than ones I recognize. Yet even with these changes, I still feel that my small suburban parish remains an important segment in the lives of those who call it home. Seemingly absent was the intensity and vitriol that sometimes accompanies the debate over cultural and moral issues in our church (and certainly on this blog). As a young adult in my parish, I don’t remember reading blogposts attacking bishops and priests who didn’t seem to toe the party line as zealously as others would like. I don’t recall fights about Latin Masses, who could receive the Eucharist, and more lay involvement. Is nostalgia at work? Definitely. Were things simpler then? Probably not. I was confirmed in this Boston-area parish church in autumn 2001, the same year the Boston Globe intensely reported on the clergy sex abuse scandal. If being a young adult Catholic were simple then, it didn’t last for long. It’s not clear to me if the events in the Church caused my Catholic life to become more complicated, or if it was simply the byproduct of maturing a bit. Whatever the case may be, the physical space on Sunday allowed me to return to a more simple time, when being Catholic had nothing to do with gay marriage, abortion, and ecclesial politics, but everything to do with the sacraments, the shared social life in a parish with friends and family, and feeling part of a community. Perhaps this child-like faith will make a return in my life and the life of the Church, or, like my childhood itself, is but a distant if fond memory.