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DO I BELONG ?

TESTIMONIES: JOURNEY BACK TO FAITH

“I grew up Catholic. I went to Catholic school.  I stopped going to Mass when I was out of highschool. For many years I told people I was a Christian even though I only went to Church at Christmas and Easter with my family. After my son was born, I knew I needed to look into faith more seriously because I knew there was an expectation that I get him baptized. Someone suggested that I visit St. Raymond, and I am grateful..."

 I'M NOT 

 SURE WHAT 

 I BELIEVE 

"My nephew is gay and married to his partner. Two of my kids lived with their girlfriends before they got married.  I just knew that everyone was doing it and it seemed normal.  It was only after a few bible studies and lots of conversations that I began to see that there was a reason for God’s plan.  If you think what the Church teaches about sex is oldfashioned or even hateful,  I know where you are coming from. Please at least be open..."

 I DISAGREE WITH 

 CHURCH TEACHING   ON SEXUALITY

"I am a loner. I worked from home long before COVID. I go on vacations alone. I am not lonely. I have friends. I just really like being alone most of the time. I stayed away from Churches for years because people always want to get me involved in things. I just wanted to go to Church on Sunday Morning and go home. When I met Deacon Bill at a funeral I told him this and he surprised me when he said..."

 I AM NOT 

 SURE WHERE 

 I FIT IN 

"Being a single parent is tough. I have too much to do and never enough time.  At St. Raymond I found a community of people willing to sit with my child during Mass, willing to give me tips and encouragement, willing to help me when I need childcare in a pinch..."

 I AM A 

 SINGLE 

 PARENT 

"I was very active in a parish for years when my kids were young, including being elected the Treasurer of a group in the Church. I noticed some inconsistencies in the accounts when I took over and brought it to the Pastor. It turned out I was not supposed to notice or ask questions. Before I knew it he painted the picture that I was the bad guy... I left that Church and did not enter a Catholic Church (or any Church) for 23 years. I came to St. Raymond for a family funeral. It felt different..."

 I HAVE BEEN 

 HURT BY THE 

 CHURCH 

"I got sober when I was 38.  Thank God for AA. I worked the steps and had a good relationship with my “higher power.” My life was very good. After a few years I became friends with a guy at my regular meeting who was a member of St. Raymond. The way he talked about the Church made me curious. I had not been in Church in years.  I joined him once Sunday and I have been back almost every Sunday. I now know my higher power in a personal way..."

 I AM 

 STRUGGLING 

 WITH ADDICTION 

"Since my teens I have struggled with depression and anxiety off and on. I have a therapist I talk to at times. I have “self-medicated” at times too (which I do not recommend). When I got more serious about bringing my anxiety and the things that hurt me in the past to prayer (and sometimes confession), it made a difference. At St. Raymond, there is no stigma about depression and anxiety..."

 I STRUGGLE 

 WITH DEPRESSION   AND ANXIETY 

"Michael and I dated in high school and we both went away for college. We reconnected ...Things happened and I was pregnant. We both knew that this was not going to work for us so I had an abortion. Honestly, I never thought about it for years until after I got married and had two kids. All of a sudden I was thinking about the abortion... I told a friend...She listened. We cried. Then she told me about a retreat she went on that helped her... It was more than I could have imagined..."

 I AM HURTING 

 AFTER AN 

 ABORTION 

"I grew up going to church with my mom and grandmother. When I was in college I stopped go and never really came back because it never did anything for me. The music was nice. Sermons were okay but they did not make a difference in my life.  When my son started attending St. Raymond School, he wanted to go to Church. I came off and on for a few years until I joined. I love that St. Raymond gives me a sense of purpose and meaning..."

 I DO NOT GET 

 MUCH OUT 

 OF CHURCH