MUSKEGO -- The weekend rains made Sunday anything but easy for a church in Muskego.
"I get a call from our music director and he said, Father, there is flooding in the church," Fr. Dan Janasik at the St. Leonard Catholic Church said. "What do you mean there's flooding in the church?"
The rains had somehow seeped into the main room of the church. Several inches of water was in front of the altar less than an hour before their first of three services were to take place.
"I'm thinking, how do we clean this up?" Fr. Janasik said. "Where did the water come from? How will we have mass today?"
Parishioners slowly started to show up for the 7:30 a.m. mass. They immediately sprung into action.
"They saw a problem and said, Father, what can I do to help?" Fr. Janasik said. "They went and started cleaning the church and drying the place out and getting the water out. Other people started setting up a makeshift church right here in our gathering space."
The gathering space is very new. Just last year, they built the addition to be able to hold more parishioners for other events. Fr. Janasik never thought it would be used like this.
"We set up chairs, an altar on a table, a makeshift podium, a sound system set up in here," Fr. Janasik said. "Little kids are coming up saying, Fr. Dan, how can I help? They're grabbing armloads of hymnals from the church and bringing them in here so we could still sing. We had music and sang songs out here. This place was packed with people and they just took it in stride. People had a great attitude. A little thing that some people could see as a problem, but we saw an opportunity to do something a little different and do some community building."
There were roughly 200 people inside the gathering place for the early morning mass. It was a little different, yes, but it was something Fr. Janasik was proud of. While many people fall back on their faith in times of need, this was a chance for the house of faith to fall back on the people.
"Those kidns of things bond people together," Fr. Janasik said. "You support each other and find, wow, we're a great community. You find your bonds of relationship grow even stronger."
Fr. Janasik even changed his sermon to fit the special day.
“You take the reality that people are going through and connect that to faith,” Fr. Janasik said. “How is god present in the midst of this and how does this teach us a bigger lesson in life in the struggles we go through and how it can bring something good out of it? Whatever we go through, god always has this bigger picture we can’t always see. But anything we struggle with in life, god can use that somehow to bring about a greater good. Even today I saw that. A community coming together and helping each other out in the midst of a struggle.”
It’s a great way to put a positive spin on a bad situation. However, everyone’s sense of humor could be a good lesson on not sweating the small stuff.