A few weeks ago, I got to meet the sisters who are participating in the oral-history project with us. Of course, I knew a few already because I have seen them on campus now and then. However, there were several I was not familiar with. They shared their stories with us, and I immediately realized I will not just get to know my sister personally, but I will get to know all of the sisters in the project on a personal level.
One thing that you must know about me is that I am not Catholic. Both my sister and I were raised in the Lutheran faith. Most of my extended family, especially on my dad’s side, are Catholic. Sometimes, when we would have gatherings with them, like various weddings, I felt a little out of place. I had no idea what Catholicism was.
When I applied for colleges during my senior year of high school, of course my first choice was Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. Unfortunately, they did not have a journalism program there, so I ended up here at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. At first, I felt very out of place yet again, because I knew I was part of a minority. During my first semester, I did not attend Mass. Later in the semester, I attended an Awakening retreat, and I learned that even though I wasn’t Catholic, I could still attend Mass and worship God. After the retreat, I began to attend Mass and eventually joined the chapel choir. The next semester, I enrolled myself in a Catholicism class. This class opened my eyes and helped me to realize that I should not be closed-minded to other religions. Now I have my own rosary, which I will pray with friends, and this past summer, I also fell in love with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy while on a pilgrimage to France. I am glad that I am becoming more open Catholicism. I am understanding it more and I feel a stronger connection with my extended family now because I understand what they believe.