In The Beginning
I am a convert to Catholicism. In 2004, I was welcomed into the church. I was raised by Protestant parents; both were loving, but inconsistent with my faith formation. We attended an Assembies of God church. We had church basement meals and also had service Wednesday nights. I enjoyed this time, but my father was in the military and we moved away. We never attended church anywhere, ever again. My parents were divorced a few years later, and neither one returned to God.
As a teenager, many of my friends were Catholic. I admired them and was a bit envious of their traditions. I had never even been baptized. I sometimes went to PSR with them and enjoyed it. I lived with my father during this time, and he was having a difficult time with his new marriage. We tried a few churches, and ended up going to an Episcopal church, which was my stepmother’s religion. Still, we failed to be consistent and soon fell away. After my father’s second divorce, church was pretty much something we used to do.
A few years passed, and I married and had a child. My husband was a cradle Catholic. His grandparents were quite involved in the Church. He grew up going to Mass every Sunday and experienced the joy of being raised in a religious home. I began to realize the importance of this for my daughter. She was in danger of being raised lost and alone, spiritually. I spoke to my husband, who himself had fallen away from Church over the years. We began to go to Mass. I contacted the priest of the parish and began the process of having our daughter baptized. Once this was done, things moved very quickly for me. I began RCIA and was welcomed into the Church during Easter of 2004. I was twenty-six years old.
Living the Truth
Almost twelve years later, I am the mother to six. We attend Mass on an almost daily basis, and certainly on Sunday! My oldest daughter is confirmed and in college. My second oldest will be confirmed this year, and my other children are in Catholic school. I teach catechism to the tenth grade girls in my parish. This is such a privilege for me. I have come a long way from that young girl who longed for God yet had no guidance from her earthly parents. They loved God, and they loved me, but were lost themselves.
Now that I am found with Him, I have surrendered my all. I have learned to give all of my life to Him. Every decision I make, I consult with Him in prayer. Had I not been blessed with His gift of my husband and children, I could have been forever lost. I am not sure if it is merely a convert’s enthusiasm, but I jumped right into my new faith. I love having a large family and I simply adore the Sacraments. Advent, Christmas, and Easter have new meaning for me. I am ashamed to admit that not all of my Christmases and Easter Sundays have been spent in Church. As a parent, I have instilled in my children the true meaning of these sacred days. They have never missed a Christmas Mass or an Easter Vigil. Although we have six children, we are open to more. I realize that material objects and a career can never make me as happy as when I am tying shoes and making breakfast.
By making our lives Christ-centered, we are not giving up our lives. We are gaining them.
“All is too little for the Lord.”—Saint Agostina
“I find heaven in the midst of saucepans and brooms.”—St.Stanislaus