Pam and Mike find solace for their marriage in eucharistic adoration
Pam and Mike Spaid enjoy peace and serenity as eucharistic adorers at St. Peter Parish in Stevens Point. At least once a week, they visit the church and spend an hour in intimate closeness with Jesus. “There is a peace there, and it is real. You are in the presence of the Divine Physician. If you have any burdens or difficulties in your life, you can bring them to Him and lay them at the foot of the cross. Jesus says, ‘Take up my yoke.’ The burden may not be easy and is not taken away, but there is a peace I feel that makes life so much simpler. He can heal all ills,” related Pam. They both agree that eucharistic adoration offers a respite from the busy, noisy world around us. They relish the opportunity to be silent in the presence of our Lord; to listen and talk with Him in a real and personal way.
Pam is a Stevens Point native. She went to grammar school, high school and UW-Stevens Point. “I just never left the area,” she commented. After graduating with a degree in early childhood education, she taught at the university’s child care center.
Pam was out East with Mike, in connection with his job, when she got a call from the director of religious education at St. Bronislava Parish in Plover. “I had always wanted to teach in a Catholic school. I thought to myself, ‘I’m way out here having fun and the director says “I need a 4K teacher.”’ It was so providential for me. It’s amazing how God leads you in your life.”
When their daughter came into Mike and Pam’s life, Pam decided to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. She said, “I did that, but eventually, I really felt led to do something more with my life, and I prayed about it. I said to God, ‘You know me well, where do you want to lead me now?’ Well, He led me to St. Adalbert Catholic School in Rosholt, where I was a kindergarten teacher. I finished my career there. It was the best job. I loved teaching children and being in the classroom. Seeing the world through their eyes and their closeness to Christ brings you even more deeply into your own Faith.”
Mike grew up in Door County near Sturgeon Bay on a dairy farm. He attended UW-Stevens Point and graduated from the paper science program. Following graduation, Mike spent his entire career in the paper industry in Biron and Whiting.
In their mid-20s, Mike and Pam met on a blind date. “For me,” said Pam, “I was done with the dating scene. I had graduated from college and was living in my own apartment. I said to God, ‘Send me a good Catholic man. You know me more than I know myself.’ I was content to just put it in the hands of God.
Adoration was a great comfort to us during the COVID lockdown.
“It happened that my sister-in-law’s sister’s husband worked with Mike. She called me and asked me if I wanted to go on a blind date. I had just had my wisdom teeth pulled and was still under the influence of the medication and said sure, why not. And then, when it wore off, I’m like, ‘What did I do?’ We double-dated and went to see a play. Afterward, I thought, ‘Well this is very nice.’ He was a nice guy. A couple of weeks later Mike called and asked, ‘Would you like to go on another date?’ He said ‘Let’s go flying.’ He had his private pilot’s license. I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ And that is how it started. Our first date was on May 17. We were engaged in December and were married exactly a year later on May 17 at the old St. Bronislava Church in Plover. The one thing I liked about Mike was that when he dropped me off, he was such a gentleman and was very humble. He walked me to the door and then we said our good nights. And I thought, ‘Well, he is a very nice guy.’”
Pam recalled undergoing a conversion shortly after their marriage. She said, “When I say conversion, I mean, when I started having a personal relationship with Christ. Although I was Catholic, I felt I did not know Him like I should know Him. It is no different than spending time with a friend or my husband. Why wouldn’t I want to know Him as well as that. Adoration is that quiet time when you can draw closer to Jesus, to know Him better.”
Referring to time spent in adoration, Mike said, “For me, it is just a small way to give back, to give thanks to God for everything He has given to us.” Mike said he frequently prays the rosary during his time in adoration, especially the Glorious Mysteries, since their usual adoration time is on Wednesday evenings.
St. Peter Parish in Stevens Point had just begun eucharistic adoration devotions and offered an opportunity for Pam and Mike to realize their desire to draw closer to Jesus. They joined the parish and have remained there ever since. Pam remarked, “We are just a small part of this parish. There are so many people here who are such beautiful witnesses to the Faith in our lives.”
Life’s journey was not without challenges for Pam and Mike. As a married couple, they wanted very much to have a child. But that was not happening. Pam recalled going to an infertility specialist in Madison. “It came to the point where they wanted us to do in vitro fertilization, and we put the brakes on and said, ‘We’re done.’ I remember coming back home in the car feeling depressed and I turned to Mike and said, ‘You shouldn’t have married me.’ And then Mike turned to me and said, ‘It’s not your problem or my problem, it’s our problem and, through Faith, we will solve it. It will be OK.’”
Pam said that St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, has always been an inspiration for her. St. Thérèse is known to have said, “I have given nothing but love to God, and He will repay with love. After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses.” Pam and Mike decided to say a novena to St. Thérèse. Pam recalls working at the university at the time. She said, “I knew St. Thérèse had heard me because I came to work, and I was going into another classroom and as I rounded the corner I saw a bouquet of roses. They were not my roses, but I knew she had heard me; I knew she had heard my prayer to send us a baby.”
It was around Christmas time that Mike and Pam connected with a birth mother who wanted them to be the adoptive parents. Again, they prayed a novena to St. Thérèse. “Before we had even received a phone call from our adoption agency telling us that the birth mother had had the baby, a little girl, I was praying that everything would be OK, and that the adoption would go through. Then there was a knock on the door and a florist was there who brought us three roses, which were from my younger brother. Now, we had not yet told anyone that we were adopting. At that moment, I knew that St. Thérèse was saying, ‘This is your baby, and everything is going to be fine,’ and our daughter Emily came into our life. St. Thérèse answered our prayer.”
Pam and Mike look forward to the time they spend in eucharistic adoration. There they experience an intimate connection with Jesus and can lay the challenges of their lives at His feet and converse with their inspirational saints, like St. Thérèse of Lisieux. “Adoration was a great comfort to us during the COVID lockdown. Though we couldn’t receive our Lord in the Eucharist, it was wonderful to be close to Him in adoration. St. Faustina’s message—Jesus, I trust in You—took on a new meaning for us. We had no fear!” said Pam.“Consider coming to adoration so you can also experience the peace of Jesus and know that He is not going to leave you alone,” said Mike. “He is with us. He is walking the journey with us, as He promised.”
Story and photography by Robert Rogers
Published in the July/August 2022 issue of Catholic Life Magazine