Catholic Girl in A Public School World

By: Samantha Cameron

I am a Catholic girl and I am in love with God. I went to a Catholic school for ten years of my life, but when I started high school I made the switch from Catholic school to Public school. I made the switch from a comfortable Catholic school where ever one was as in love with Jesus as I was, to a school where some people do not even have an idea of who or what the Catholic church was. This choice was solely my own and I am still very much in touch with my faith, in fact I have never felt closer to God and Mother Mary than in these years. Public school has brought on trials and turbulence (of course) but I’ve also had fun times and met some of my closest friends. There are pros and cons, questions and answers, rumours and truths that I have encountered and I’m here to share them with you beautiful people of God!

Being in a Public school these past three years I have received a bunch of questions regarding the Catholic Faith. It’s important to remember that some of the people asking you questions are people who know little to nothing about the faith so it’s good to speak as simply as possible and with as much love as possible…

“Why do you wear a cross?”

“I wear a cross as an outward sign and daily reminder that Jesus died so that I could live.” The Passion in its most simplistic form. This is the best way to handle this question because it is 100% true and the perfect way to introduce or re-introduce anyone to the faith.

“What is the Catholic faith all about?”
The Catholic faith is all accepting and teaches that we all make mistakes but also that we are all saved because God loves us!” This question is a little harder than the last one to answer because it is such a broad subject, but these touch the mains; 1.The Catholic Church is all accepting 2.Yes, we do all make mistakes 3.We are all saved 4.God loves us! The main points are always great

Like I said before there are pros and there are cons and sadly I have encountered many of the cons. Putdowns and rude comments is something that as Catholics many of us have endured but sometimes we may not know how to handle them, we may take them personally. The best thing to do in these situations is to keep calm and respond with love. 

“You’re missing out on all the fun! You’re too stuck up.”

“Youth groups are so much fun! Everyone is welcome; I hope you can come sometime.”  This comment I have gotten so many times! “You must not have any fun” “There are so many rules” I don’t know what you have heard but Church is so much fun! Especially youth group! All the super fun games, the talks, the small groups! The best time of my life! I have never felt like I’ve missed out on any part of ‘the high school experience.”

“Your standards are too high”

This question in regards to dating is one I always get and in some instances it has gotten to me. I’d sometimes second guess myself and wondering if I should in fact lower my standards. Then I remember that I am in fact Made4More. In culture today it is so hard to believe that you deserve more than what is “offered.” Relationships shouldn’t be a deal or a negotiation, keep reminding yourself that you are made for more and while you are at it remind others. So the perfect answer to this “I am made for more and so are you!”

Questions or comments, always use it as a chance to evangelize! We were not called to keep the word of God to ourselves, we were meant to share it with everyone we meet! We are called to evangelize, yes but we are called to do it the right way. Catholicism is a religion based on true authentic love and when you authentically love someone you do not force them to do anything that they don’t want to do. So rule number one of evangelizing to peers; do not shove the Catechism down their throats! Nobody likes when anything is forced, if they don’t want to learn about how much God loves them, that’s their choice. For a relationship with God or with anyone to work you have to freely choose to be involved with the person. 

Second rule of evangelizing to peers; direct them to somebody who knows better. There is nothing worse than getting second hand information that may or may not be correct, so skip the guessing game and if someone asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to, direct them to your youth minister or priest or even pull out the trust YOUCAT (youth catechism). 

Last rule of evangelizing to peers; always remind them that God truly and authentically loves them. Even if they brush you off and act like you’re crazy, chances are they might think about it later and maybe be interested in what you said and come back to ask more questions! Even if they don’t, it’s just a nice thing to tell someone that God loves them. 

Finally the most import lesson I have learned…not just as a Catholic going to a public school but as a teenager going to high school is to stay true to you! This is so important! Do not change the beautiful person that you are just because you are going to high school. The people who stay true to themselves usually have the time of their lives in high school, keep that in mind. 

Some of the way I keep true to myself; I keep my prayer life up. Prayer is the most important thing in a Catholics life. Prayer is direct, personal contact with God and it’s the best thing to stay in touch with God and yourself. Second and last…among telling others that Jesus love them, remind yourself that Jesus died for your sins too, that Jesus loves you as well. It’s so easy to fall into a state of mind where you think that your sins are too much for God to handle or that he doesn’t care about you. He does, believe me, he does.

As much as I miss morning prayer and all my Catholic friends, I believe that God is calling me to evangelize in a place where people don’t even know who or what God is to them. I intent to do my best in fulfilling that call! So what’s God calling you to do in your life? 

Always remember, you are #Made4More