She’s made a choice.
Leaving behind the safety net of dear friends and familiar public school classmates, she has chosen to pursue a Catholic High School education.
She will know no one.
Last Saturday, I took her for placement testing.
The principal cheerfully greeted the soon to be incoming freshman.
I overheard his conversation with a mom. She was inquiring about the morning. Peppering him with questions about how long testing would take, where her son would be when it was over and when they would get results.
I prayed that God would help me hold it together long enough to not do the same.
Helicopter parenting born from a desire to exercise control; to calm my heavy heart filled with worries for my girl. If I just knew the rundown of everything then maybe the anxiety would subside.
Instead we walked into the cafeteria filled with boys and girls chatting at tables. Not a parent in sight.
She mouthed I love you and I walked away.
She glows when she talks about her new school and that day, after hours of testing, a smile firmly plastered on her face.
This bravery was born in her and I am so proud.
Catholic education is extremely important for me. Unlike most Catholic teenagers, I was not born in this faith, I was baptized and received my first holy communion in the Lutheran church. When I was around 11 I went to church with my best friend, who is Catholic, and I completely fell in love. The first ever homily I heard was about Christmas being a season, not just two days. We always take for granted the presents we get and the amazing food eaten, but we really need to remember that once our family goes home and we run out of leftovers we are still celebrating Jesus’s sacrifices for us. That homily has always stuck with me and it fired my love for God.
I went home that Sunday and asked my mom what she thought about being Catholic. At first she just brushed it off, her dad was a Lutheran minister so she had never thought about leaving the faith. After many weeks of pressing she finally gave in and took me to another service. My mother quickly realized that this was where we were supposed to be, signed us up for RCIA, and before we knew it we were officially Catholic. It will be two years in the church this Easter and this is probably the best decision my family has ever made. I have lifelong friends, my mom met my stepdad, and now we are an amazing family of 8.
I should have been happy, but about November of this year I just was not fully satisfied with my education. My mom and I started looking around at different possibilities and went to the Bishop Watterson open house, where both of us immediately fell in love. Catholic education is amazing because I can fully follow the path God has set for me, and have people helping me along the way. I know that everyone at the school shares my religious beliefs, will answer my many questions about faith, and help me know how I can make a difference through being Catholic. I will be prepared for the real world, where I am asked to defend my faith, and have the ability to evangelize the words of Jesus Christ to those around me. It makes me excited to think about praying with my team before a game, volunteering side-by-side with my peers, and having fun with my classmates on retreats. I believe a Catholic education is where God is calling me and I can not wait to see what doors open up through this amazing opportunity.