Spirituality has never really been a strong aspect of my life. Although I was baptized Catholic, I was not necessarily raised Catholic. For the first half of my life, I was actually on the opposite side of the spectrum – a Pentecostal. There was even a short portion of my life where I became highly skeptical of God – almost to the point where I would consider myself an Atheist. A few changes in thought, and a few key moments in my life have led me to the very place I am now – undergoing the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults to become a true Catholic.
Just before coming to college, I had come to the conclusion that I wanted to become a Catholic. After four years of scrutiny and research, and hours of talking to my cousin, a former Holy Cross seminarian, it only seemed fitting. There is just something so beautiful and enticing about the Catholic faith. Everything just came into further alignment when I decided to commit to Notre Dame. While I have nothing but respect for the Pentecostal faith, my life has led me here. As such, I have decided to take the opportunity.
There really was only one problem. I still wasn’t all too sure about how I was going to do all of this. Being a student is already a taxing job as it is. Fitting sacrament preparation and Confirmation into a comprehensive pre-med schedule seemed nearly impossible. However, as you learn in life, you miraculously always find time for the things you love. Notre Dame offers an all-inclusive RCIA program which ultimately leads to Confirmation in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart come Eastertime. Devoting a few hours every Sunday is a very reasonable sacrifice to make for something that will last a lifetime.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program at Notre Dame has been an absolute joy so far. I have learned a tremendous amount about the Catholic faith and have been able to practice my faith in more ways than before. Very recently actually, all candidates and catechumens went on a prayer retreat at the Coleman-Morse Center. Everything, thus far, has been an enriching and spiritually simulating experience.
While my conversion experience is not for everyone, Notre Dame has definitely been a great propagator of my faith. I was expecting to neglect my faith in college and just wait to be confirmed afterward. However, with the amount of opportunities that Our Lady’s University offers, I really couldn’t pass up such a great program. Notre Dame not only offers opportunities for Catholics, but for those of other denominations as well. Iron Sharpens Iron, a student community on campus, brings together Christians of all traditions in celebration of God and Christ’s teachings. The Muslim Student Association serves to promote the carrying out of the Islamic way of life. The Jewish Club of Notre Dame celebrates Jewish culture and tradition. No matter your religion, Notre Dame is an incredibly accepting community that works to integrate everyone’s cultures in a constructive and welcoming way.