I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church.  Every Sunday morning, my mom would come into mine and my brother's room and would wake us up with our church clothes in her hands. Going to church was a routine for my family. 
My church was part of my life since I was a baby. I was baptized there. I attended religious education classes there every Monday night at 6 o'clock (despite my constant protesting that I developed as I grew into a defiant tween). I received the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, and my Confirmation from that church.  As I grew up, I started to dread going to church. Something that I knew shouldn't be happening. A million and one questions and doubts began to fill my head. Everything that I had learned, done for the past 10 years, and knew about my religion became clouded. In spite of my feeling of being unsure, I continued to go to church. Not because I necessarily wanted to but because of my parents. My parents taught me the religion they were raised in. I never felt like they ever tried to teach me about other religions. It was Roman Catholicism, and that was that. 

My first memory about religion took place during the holiday season. I don't know how old I was but I remember watching my mom decorate our house with Christmas decorations while playing Christmas music. She brought up this big box from our basement that held all of our ornaments. Within this box, there was another large box. It looked like it had been through a lot of wear and tear. She opened the box and picked up the wooden Nativity set that lay inside. She placed the stable on the skirt right in the front of our tree. My mom then got out the figurines that were individually wrapped in tissue paper. She set out Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus that lay in the manger. I remember thinking to myself, "Why is my mommy playing with dolls?" She explained what it all was and why this time of the year was so special. 

I grew up learning about Jesus and how he died for my sins. Christmas, Easter, and every Sunday mass were all important occasions to my family. I felt like I always just "went along with it all."

Anything that is a part of my life is there for a reason. Whether it is my family, friends, hobbies/interests, dreams... they are all in my life for a reason. I embrace them all and show compassion towards each one of them. I said earlier that my church was a part of my life since I could remember. But my church and religion were always 2 things that existed in my  life, I just don't think I existed in them. I never felt a strong pull to be there or if I even belonged there at all. I never became compassionate about my church or religion. 

I continued going to church and tried to grow in my faith, but the connection just wasn't there. After much thought, I would have to say that there are 5 events in my life that have shaped my story of religion. And those would be...      

(Until next time, stay tuned)

-- KT

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