In Albia, St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Society hands out service awards each year to graduating seniors. In the application process, graduates are asked to respond to a number of questions about their service involvement and their Catholic faith. One of the questions asks students to reflect on what their Catholic faith means to them. Here are responses from this year’s award recipients:
My Catholic faith means more than just attending Mass or CCD classes; it’s about following your words with your actions. Actions speak louder than words, even though what you may say and feel impacts you and others a great deal. Your footsteps lead as an example. Being Catholic means more than what’s on the surface. It means to be willing to give help when it’s needed, or to put your needs aside for someone else. I want to be known as someone who’s willing to help. My Catholic faith means to show my beliefs to others and to be the example that I would like to have.
Being Catholic challenges us to make the right choices that will affect our lives. There are two different things that will come to mind when we are faced with making an important decision. The first one is when everything you have learned becomes clear and you know what direction you want to go in life. The second time is when nothing is clear and you need to depend on your faith to help make things clear. There are times when things did not go according to how I wanted them to go, and I think that God is trying to give me a challenge – saying that I am not ready yet and to be patient, and things will work out according to God’s plan.
My Catholic faith has been a big part of my life. I have grown up in the Church, and I wouldn’t change that. All the parishioners have been like a second family to me. They have been great role models for me. I know as I’m getting older that my faith has been growing as I trust in God more and more. My faith has led me to make my decisions wisely and to pray about everything. My faith has kept me grounded, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Knowing God will always be there to pick me up when I fall has made me stronger in my faith. My faith is something I have chosen to participate in and I will always be proud that I have made it a big part of my life.
I can honestly say throughout the past years of my life my faith has been challenged and judged as I determine the type of person I am and want to be. My faith means a great deal to me because of the tremendous role that it plays in my family. My grandparents were fantastic examples of persons of faith. I looked up to them in the ways they lived their lives faithfully and the ways they worshipped. Through times of struggle and hardship I have always felt like I could rely on my faith to give me strength and guidance. I was never really aware of how amazing the Catholic faith was until I attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis. The amount of prayer, worship and song is outstanding. My experience at NCYC has sparked a new fondness for my faith and has helped me develop new ways of prayer. My understanding of the Catholic faith changes every day. It gives me a sense of family, love, pride, commitment, support, courage and relief. I look forward to the future and where my faith takes me.
The Catholic Church has always been an important part of my life. I have grown up a Catholic and try to live my life as a good Catholic. Living that Catholic life means I am honest, treat people the way I would like to be treated, and lend a hand to help others whenever I can. This has included JDRF fundraisers, coaching youth soccer, assisting with Cargill kids Christmas party, participating in the angel tree and the shoebox projects, and participating in and setting up 4-H participation in the cystic fibrosis fundraiser. Being a Catholic, for me, is all about using your talents and abilities to help others. I try and do that at home, school and in my community.