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Call Her “Susie”; A Life of Both Hardship, and Strong Faith.Part Eight; The Nineties and Retirement.

Updated on September 22, 2014

St. Mary's Fire


Worries of the World.

I've decided to write mom's story, because it is her faith which inspires my faith. In fact, mom has touched countless lives through her example of faith and perseverance, even through what for many would be impossibly tough times. I hope that you will gain some inspiration, as her story unfolds.

During the 1990s, thanks to Christ Renews His Parish, Faith and Trust in God become stronger, despite the Worries of the World.

As told to her son, Stuart Lynn Sexton.

Susie retired on her birthday in 1991, leaving her Social Security and Stuart’s income to make ends meet. Unfortunately, Stuart was going through a rough patch at the time (he had quit the factory earlier that year, to try his hand at selling insurance, and later, vacuum cleaners, but both fell through), and they were relying too much on their credit cards, and building up debt faster than they could pay it off.

During the next year, Stuart worked at various telemarketing jobs, the last of which Susie also got hired for. Susie worked along with her son as a telemarketer for about a week, when the manager began berating her in front of everyone else, and when she spoke up, she was fired. Stuart quickly came to her defense, and he, too, was berated and fired on the spot. It was after this that work seemed impossible to come by, and they had to rely even more on their credit cards.

In April of 1993, Stuart finally got a job delivering pizza. It was during this time, on September 2nd, 1993, when St. Mary’s Catholic Church was struck by lightning, and burned down. For the next five years, the St. Mary’s Parish Family was welcomed in as part of the St. Paul’s Parish, whilst the Diocese of Fort Wayne, South Bend built a new St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Community Center, and Soup Kitchen.

While Stuart was delivering pizza, he owned a 1987 Olds Cutlass Ciera, which was low mileage, and in great shape; at least, it was, until his vehicle was rear ended by a teenage driver, and the car was totaled. It was after this that he had to settle for a 1986 Nova. In 1996, he quit the pizza place, and got a job in big box retail, working in the gas station. En route to work one day, Stuart’s transmission went out, and, and it was replaced by a rebuilt transmission from the junkyard.

Thankfully, Susie and Stuart still had good enough credit, and they got a consolidation loan, with which they paid off their credit card debts, and Stuart was able to purchase a 1995 Saturn SL1 (which he still owns, to this day). In 1999, Stuart transferred from the gas station to house wares, and in the year 2000, Susie began working for the same retailer, in their food court.

It was during the decade of the 1990s that both Susie and Stuart had gone through, and later been part of formation teams for, Christ Renews His Parish. Were it not for the CRHP process, the coming trials may have overwhelmed them, but as it was, their Faith and Trust in God was given a “booster shot.”

Whilst the Worries of the World worked to shake them, thanks to their prayer partners and new friends within the program, these worries did not overcome them. In fact, the opposite was true; Susie’s faith was stronger than ever, and Stuart, who was beginning to drift during the 1990s, was pulled back by decade’s end.

The next time, we’ll delve into the New Millennium Until then, God bless you. .


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