The Paulist Center community is collecting the thoughts, reflections, insights, reasoning and visions of Catholics today on the topic of why they remain Catholic, participate in the Church, perhaps even what they love about Catholicism.
The young adult community at the Paulist Center has been meeting for the past year in a small group, called Writings and Reflection. One person each month reflects on their "story" of Catholicism, reacting to the following questions: (1) Why did you become Catholic? (2) What causes to you to remain a Catholic? (3) What would cause you to leave Catholicism? The group has an open dialogue with the writer, who reads their story and engages in discussion, sharing the journey, a seeker among fellow seekers. Most have agreed to post their stories on the Paulist Center website, in a new section called "Why Catholic?". Now, the larger community has been invited to share.
You are invited to do the same and submit your story for consideration. Our hope is that this initiative will inspire greater conversation and discussion and help us all to learn from one another. This is an exploration in storytelling, in respect, in listening and in reflection.
The stories are based around responses to the same three questions:
(1) Why did you become Catholic?
(2) What causes to you to remain a Catholic?
(3) What would cause you to leave Catholicism?
Email your story, with permission for (a) any necessary editing and (b) publishing on the website. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Outreach and Reconciliation
Young Adult Pastoral Minister
READ: THE STORIES of FAITH: WHY CATHOLIC?
by Catie M.
I had studied Spanish in college and learned about the Caribbean, but I had never heard of the term “batey” until I investigated the international mission of a certain religious order. At that point I learned that a batey is an encampment in the Dominican Republic where Haitian migrants originally worked cutting sugarcane. It wasn’t until I arrived there that I had any real idea of what it was and after two years of working there, I still didn’t grasp the entire definition. The part that I do know is that a batey is filth, is unemployment, is disease, is hunger, is leaky roofs and permeable walls of tiny shacks, is violence, is terror and trauma. A batey is full of daily struggle to survive, of torn clothes, of contaminated water, of illiteracy, of the choice between prostitution and starvation. But, Batey Lecheria, my batey, was also the place where I saw God’s grace at work, and looking into dark faces, I looked into the face of God. It was the place where I literally hugged God, sat God on my lap, and read to God. It was where God squeezed my hand, kissed my cheek, and beamed his or her smile at me.
Read Catie's story HERE.
by a Member of the Paulist Center Young Adult Group
I have long been fascinated with the concept of an identity – how your own experiences, beliefs, and attributes come together to form who you are and who you see yourself to be as a person. Identities are often so fundamental to someone's being, that people can get significantly upset if you attack or threaten to delegitimize a fundamental portion of their identity. I believe that a large part of why I am Catholic is my own identity....
Why I remain Catholic
~ by a Paulist Center Community Member
The search for authentic Christian tradition has been my life-long quest. I was brought up Catholic, but my father had been Episcopalian before his marriage. When I was in college, my fiancé and I studied the Episcopal and Roman Catholic traditions and joined and raised our sons in the Episcopal Church where he served as a priest for a decade. When we divorced I returned to the Catholic Church in the wake and hopes of the Vatican II Council ... read more HERE.