A few of you may know this, but others may not:
I went to a Catholic school from preschool until high school graduation.
Not only that, but I went to the same school system that entire time.
Let me give you some background:
- We had Mass on a regular basis.
- We had Confession services at least once a school year.
- We had prayer at the beginning and end of every day.
- We’d pray the Rosary.
- We’d have prayer services.
- We were required to do a set amount of community service in order to graduate.
But let me tell you something.
Just because the school did that and I was fairly active at my parish, that doesn’t mean my faith life was perfect.
Sure, I went to Sunday Mass on a regular basis beginning in middle school. I was an altar server from middle school on into college. I was on the planning committee for the parish’s youth group for a year or two.
But was my prayer life there? No. Did I go to Confession more than once or twice a year? Not usually. Did I invite God into my life? Probably not.
So while I went to a Catholic school for most of my life, my faith life was not what was to be expected.
Things changed once I went to college.
I knew before going into my first semester of college that I wanted to be involved with the Newman House (the Catholic student center). And I stayed active all four years of college. During these four years, my faith life got off the ground where it had been for the past 18 years.
I began going to Mass on a regular basis. Even Daily Masses. I began praying on a more regular basis, even getting to where I pray once a day. I began going to Confession more. I went to Adoration more. I became more active in the liturgies, ie serving, being a Eucharistic Minister, and eventually becoming the Liturgical Chairperson.
And the foundations I built in college have carried me on to my life after college.
Let me clear something up real quick.
While my experiences at a Catholic school weren’t the best and my faith life wasn’t where it needed to be, I think that’s where I needed to be.
I know it sounds super cliché, but I think those experiences helped form me into the person I am. And had it not been for those experiences, who knows what I would’ve done in college or who I would’ve become.
So while my faith story wasn’t the best in the beginning, it’s what I think God knew needed to happen.