My Faith


I’ve never openly written about my personal religious beliefs so this will be an interesting experience for me. Most of my closest friends, however, will shake their heads because they know in private conversation how much I discuss the various topics of life and what comes after it. 

It is a strange feeling to write about my faith mainly because even though I’ve said my beliefs out loud a million times, it’s different to view it on paper.

So in order to prevent further stalling from dividing into it, I’ll begin. 

As a baby, I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church like everyone else had been in my family before me. I consider myself a “cradle Catholic,” as they say because despite a few brief years of not really caring, I never left the Church. 

I have been surrounded by the Catholic faith since the early years of my life. I attended the preschool that was run by my local parish, St. Stephen, The First Martyr, Roman Catholic Church. I then attended St. Stephen’s-St. Edward’s Catholic School where I received a Catholic education from kindergarten to eighth grade. 

What made the schools very special was that it was on the same property as the church. Looking back, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have lived in an area that gave me the opportunity to attend school and have the church close by. 

I was usually too busy getting yelled at, complaining about my tie I had to wear, or just bored in class. 

However, I began to take my faith seriously. 

In fifth grade, anyone who was interested could become an altar server. For those who don’t know, those are the people who assist during Mass. I signed up mainly because my brother was already an altar server and there weren’t many, so he needed help.

Early on, one of the first immediate benefits that my self centered fifth-grade mindset discovered was an absolute scheme which involved funerals. I know that sounds bad but listen to this. 

If there was a funeral one morning while we were in school, the church would ask for altar servers to come to serve the funeral mass. The first couple were definitely sad but then in a bad way and with no better wording for it, you get used to them. After each funeral, the servers would get between five to fifteen dollars depending on which funeral home was conducting the funeral.

Now to a fifth-grader who not only got out of math class at 9:00 am, but now also had some money in his pocket, I felt like a little Catholic version of John D. Rockefeller.

However, after years of constantly attending Mass, sometimes three in one day between regular Sunday mass and funerals, I came to know a lot about the Catholic faith and why we as Catholics believe all of what we believe. 

I became overwhelmingly curious about not just learning more about the Church, but also other churches. I wanted to know what they believed and why we weren’t all on the same team despite the fact we had so much in common, especially among Christian faiths. 

This is why, in my opinion, I never had that moment of rebellion against my Faith. I had personally sought out different ideas to counter my belief that the Roman Catholic Church is the One and True Church.

Every objection I had to the Church had been refuted usually by someone who appeared to be way more educated on the topic for me. 

I believe it’s important to ask why when it comes to beliefs. I’m not saying to question God on everything He does because honestly, some of it is a mystery that we can never truly understand. However, this doesn’t mean that every objection a Protestant or Atheist makes to the Faith should be responded with “oh that’s a mystery.” A lot of these objections have been answered by very intelligent people.

It is okay to answer by saying, “I don’t know. Let me get back to you on that.” That is what I have done my entire life and not only has it helped other people learn, it has strengthened my own faith and led me to a deeper understanding of God. 

It was in high school where I finally admitted to myself completely that I was a Roman Catholic and everything in my life should be centered around that fact. This was mainly due to my conversations with people who disagreed with me, forcing me to first, challenge what I believe and secondly, learn how to properly defend it. 

It was for me, one of my favorite parts of high school which, as a few of my friends often remind me, makes me a bit of a weirdo for someone who at the time is 16 and now is 21 to still focus on. 

I could go on and on from here explaining every moment that helped shape my faith and probably write the longest article ever published by The Impact. I will not do that for the sake of time but there’s one final point I want to make. 

I do want to clarify some things which, depending on who reads this back home, may get me in trouble. 

I love the Catholic Church because I believe it is the pathway to Christ who needs to be the most important thing in my life. I was an altar server from fifth grade to twelfth grade and transitioned to become an usher at a mass where I continue to serve the Church in that role to this day. 

I am also a very proud Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. The work I do with them is important to me in many ways. 

However, I believe the Church is in crisis. I believe that many traditions of the Church have been destroyed by attempts to modernize the Church which have only seemed to have weakened it. 

Many efforts by bishops, cardinals, and even all the way up to Rome have caused confusion among the Church and have undermined its authority and respect throughout the world. I believe some of this is intentional by men with bad intentions but I leave that right there for now. 

There have been moments the men of the Church have betrayed the entire Church and led many of the faithful down dark paths. This has been shown through repeated scandals and inaction from within Church Hierarchy. 

Having faith in the men of the Church over the Teachings of the Church is one of the main reasons so many people in my personal life have fallen away from the Faith. 

I could list many more issues with the Roman Catholic Church that I find troubling but again for the sake of time, I will not for now. Maybe at a later date. 

I thank God however because I know the Gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church and in bad times men and women will rise up and become the saints we are all called to be. 

Viva Christo Rey!