I have been in Catholic school ever since I was in preschool and my experiences onward have been full of amazing opportunities and enriching education that have shaped me into the person I have become today. At an early age, I’ve always realized how advantageous it was to be educated in a Catholic School. Its challenging and fixed curriculum taught me how to be an increasingly knowledgeable student. And it was where I started my interests in sports and leadership, which are still a big part of my life as of now.
Being at a young age, in Catholic Schools where Catholicism is heavily incorporated, I grew used to “Catholic things” such as making the sign of the cross and learning about these people called “saints” and didn’t think much of it. I eventually began to acknowledge my difference in religious affiliation in second grade, at a time where I couldn’t take the sacrament of Reconciliation like everyone else in my class. I specifically remember it being a confusing time for me because I was told that the religion I was affiliated with and Catholicism were the “same thing”. I thought that if they were the same… then why couldn’t I take the sacrament? This same question was brought up again in my mind when I couldn’t take the sacraments of Holy Communion
and Confirmation in third grade. I never thought too deeply on that question until I reached sixth grade, which was when I started to learn a lot more about the Catholic faith and study the Bible. My amazing religion teacher taught me a wide variety of new things such as what the fours marks of the Church were, the lives of the twelve apostles, and the miracles of the saints. At the time, learning about all these things was so beautiful and interesting to me that it caused me to want to know even more. Eighth grade was what changed it all for me. Because it was my last year in middle school, we had the privilege of going on a four day retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico as our eighth grade trip.
From what I remember from New Mexico, we had mass every morning in different churches, learned about and toured mission churches, studied their architecture and constantly discussed the impact of the Catholic Church in the area and on the people. I officially decided that I wanted to become Catholic after that trip. From then on, it was just a matter of when I could get the opportunity to do so. Attending St. John Paul II Catholic High School served to grow my desire to become Catholic. Through the school’s enriching religious department and ethics program, I was able to constantly learn and exercise my faith and reason into my thoughts and intentions as well as become the most confident in my decision. As soon as I heard that my high school is able to give the sacraments, I knew that it was the opportunity I was praying for. Although the journey leading toward my sacraments was very difficult for me with a parent who was strongly against my conversion, it was my love for the Church, my strong desire to continually seek the Truth and my faith in God that allowed me to follow through. I became a proud Catholic on April 27, 2022!