By Kat Gay
Being 22 and a Catholic in a time of so much political uncertainty and unrest in the world is a blessing and a challenge. Lucky for me, I am able to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport where I can freely practice my faith. I am not only able to take classes to enhance my faith life but to bring that faith into every classroom I enter.
Going to Mass every weekend is something I choose to do. My friends and I always make it a point to go to Mass together. Many of us are eucharistic ministers and love having the opportunity to participate more in the Mass. I have been a eucharistic minister since age 16, and it is something that I love being able to do.
The church is so welcoming, and I love that about being Catholic. No matter what stage I have been at in my faith life, I have always had priests, youth ministers and those in my family to turn to and talk with about any issue I have ever had. Being able to go to Mass each week and knowing how deeply I am loved is a feeling that is hard to explain. Every time I walk into Mass I know that I am going to walk out with a sense of peace about my life.
College and life in general are stressful and can really take a toll on a person; I know I have had my fair share of stresses. I also know that every Sunday I am going to be able to take an hour and spend it with God. I feel relief after celebrating the Mass. I am totally reenergized and ready to take on the week with a new outlook and positive drive.
The Catholic Church, I feel, has been doing a great job at reaching out to young Catholic adults. The different opportunities to attend Catholic universities, Newman Centers and church groups seem endless. The older I get the more I begin to see different groups available to enrich my faith. As a young Catholic I feel that every time I turn around I have a new opportunity that can help me grow as a person and in my faith. Having attended Catholic school since preschool and becoming more involved in the church through youth groups and retreats since high school, my support system is always growing and staying firm. The church always provides me with the tools to grow and reach out in more ways than imaginable.
In December I will graduate with a degree in Strategic Communication from St. Ambrose. I do not have any definitive plans after college. I have no ties to anywhere specific so I am going to take the time to find a job that sounds the most exciting and most like something I would love doing for the rest of my life. Being able to work for a larger company is the dream, but I am going to give myself the time to find my niche.
I always see the Catholic Church as being a part of my life. In 10 or 15 years, I would like to see myself married in the church and with a growing family. Having been raised in a Catholic household, I would love to have a family and raise them in the faith that I am continuing to grow in. The church is doing incredible things. The last thing I ever want to do is to move away from a faith that is so central to who I am and who I continue to strive to be.
(Kat Gay is a senior at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. She is studying Strategic Communication.)