Holy Family Cathedral has seen a beautiful influx of families over the last few years. For one of those families, the Hodgsons, it felt like coming home. Deanna Hodgson grew up in Tulsa and attended St. Pius X with her parents. When she set out for Benedictine College in 2014, she swore she would never live in Tulsa again. Nine years later, she and her husband, Spencer, regularly attend the 10 a.m. Mass at Holy Family with their children, Cyprian, 4; Ambrose, 2; and their baby girl born in December.
“The Lord had plans for my eventual return,” Deanna says. “In 2021, Spencer and I moved across the country with our toddler in tow from Anchorage, Alaska, to Tulsa. When we moved here, we knew we wanted to register as parishioners at Holy Family Cathedral. I had always attended Masses and Confession here when I would visit home, not to mention the fact that we were married here in 2019. The beautiful space, reverent liturgies, accessibility of the sacraments, and vibrant community made Holy Family Cathedral feel like home.”
The Hodgsons are active in parish life and are involved in various ministries. Deanna is currently the ministry leader for the Confraternity of Christian Mothers. She also participates in the Meal Train Ministry and the Walking with Purpose Bible Study. Spencer serves as a lector and helps the Home Improvement Ministry. Their son, Cyprian, delights in participating in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. For them, the idea of not being connected within parish life has never crossed their minds.
“I want to be challenged and inspired by others — to accompany and be accompanied in this journey towards heaven, to be a conduit for God’s generous spirit, and to encounter Him in new ways through each unique person He has created,” Deanna says. “I truly believe this type of encounter is possible through any ministry at the parish — someone might experience God’s compassion in a new way when they join the Bethany Intercessors, or have the opportunity to be Jesus’ calloused hands when volunteering for the Home Improvement Ministry. For me, these encounters have been fostered most notably by joining the Confraternity of Christian Mothers and committing to a weekly small group through the parish’s Cathedral Families Ministry.”
Deanna acknowledges how difficult it can be to make authentic connections during this stage of life. She and Spencer knew they needed to put themselves out there when they came to the parish. So they showed up at events where they did not know a soul, started conversations after Mass, and made sacrifices to attend ministries they had committed to. Getting involved in parish stewardship was an obvious way to see people consistently and have opportunities to build friendships.
“I love looking at our little whiteboard family calendar in our kitchen and seeing parish ministries and parish-adjacent events scribbled in dry-erase marker all throughout the month,” Deanna says. “At some point, our participation in parish life stops being thought of as ‘stewardship’ and just becomes part of ‘life.’ There’s a real sense of belonging we’ve found here at the Cathedral.”
Although she may be biased, Deanna’s favorite ministry at Holy Family is the Confraternity of Christian Mothers. These women of all ages gather together on the third Thursday of every month for adoration, Mass, dinner, and fellowship. The Confraternity welcomes wives and/or mothers of all ages and stages to join together in the sacrament and accompany each other in the vocation of motherhood.
“I know the rumor has it that this is a ‘young mothers’ club’ — it’s not and it never has been,” Deanna says. “You don’t age out of motherhood, and you don’t ever stop needing support in your vocation. The vocation of a mother does not end when her children move out of the house. She is a mother forever, and her marriage and motherhood will always be her specific path to holiness. I also firmly believe that intergenerational friendship is something severely lacking in our modern age, and we’re all suffering for it. I’m so happy to see our Confraternity community expanding to encompass mothers of various years of experience. We’re a very warm and casual bunch!”