Family presence helps faith while at school

When I took a tour of Gannon during high school, the tour guide took us to Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel at the suggestion of my mother. I can still remember him explaining how it was OK to be religious or not at all on campus.

After 12 years of Catholic school, I wasn’t expecting any less.  Maybe I was actually expecting more.  At the time, I was dating a boy whose idea of a date was Saturday night Mass and dinner.  I’m not even kidding.

My parents’ choice of parochial school has definitely paid off, however.  At the very least, it ensured I got great grades in our required theology courses.

They also passed on the habit of getting to Mass every Sunday.  I go with one of my roommates because we went every week last year.  Cue one of my friends reminding me that my “Catholic is showing.”

That’s the point.  I find it refreshing that saints and atheist writers are acknowledged in the same philosophy class — even if I would avoid mixing the two in a regular conversation.

Speaking of that, I took the time to take the survey on worldviews the university sent out over break.  Never mind that my incentive was the drawing. I found that a majority of it left me feeling really naïve.

I had to answer a lot of the “opinion” questions about other religions as neutral, because I don’t know a lot about other denominations.  That’s a downside of my upbringing, I suppose.  I just never felt the need to look any further than home.

Besides, my parents wouldn’t exactly approve of it.  When I was confirmed, the sacrament that makes Catholics an official member of the church for life, there was no discussion.  There was no asking if I was OK with committing to the church.

If you’re still reading, maybe you’re wringing your hands with anguish and thinking my family has a Middle Ages mentality.  I hope I can convince you otherwise.  The reason my parents and I didn’t talk about confirmation was probably because I never questioned it.

I had to attend confirmation classes and they gave us some good reasons for staying in the church.   I believed the logic was sound.  I still do.

Sure, there are some tenets I’m starting to question as I’m starting to realize just how small I am in the world, and my friends like to poke fun at my crucifix necklace, but I can’t complain.  I like the consistency.

We talked about how the practice of Catholicism holds so much history in Catholic Tradition and how it attracts older generations.  I think young people who appreciate the traditions like the structure and the community of it.

For me, I’m reminded of home.  I always feel like I’m missing out with six siblings in Franklin, and it helps to have some sense of family at school.  I’ve found that in my friends too.  Maybe that’s why I find myself getting attached so quickly.

Long story short, I don’t regret choosing Gannon.  I’ve been able to keep my faith in mind without worry.  Though I hate to admit it, I think my dad knew what he was doing by encouraging me to come here for four years.



[email protected]