I went to public school until the eleventh grade. After that, I attended a small Catholic school until the end of volleyball season, then begged my parents to homeschool me. I was homeschooled the rest of that year, then my senior year, going to the local community college for the fall semester to finish up the subjects I most wanted sure guidance in – physics, history, English composition and computer. Shortly before I turned 18, I got my GED. That August, I was living in a dorm room, trying to figure out what being a college freshman really meant. I didn’t go to a Catholic college, but I didn’t care. I saw most of my professors at Mass on the weekends, volunteered as an assistant Religious Ed teacher, and kept busy with various bible studies and campus outreach events (most coordinated by the local InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group). During my study abroad to South Korea, I was comforted by the Regnum Christi, who got me in contact with a military family staying in Seoul. They opened their home to me during Easter and several other weekends. They made sure I got to Mass as often as I could, and even when I couldn’t go, I knew I was in their prayers, as they were in mine. When I got back from Korea, I found that God had been at work in Clarion, putting it on the hearts of several students to start up a Newman Club. With God’s grace, the club was up and running the fall semester of my junior year, and is still going strong! I was just informed this past weekend that a loved member is going to be received into full communion this Easter. Praise be to God!
One gets out of their education what they put into it. Though I wasn’t going to a Catholic college, only the absence of priests and nuns reminded me. My parents instilled in me the idea that if something is important to you, then you have to make the effort to get it. God was important to me, and so I sought Him out. And always He was there. He was there in my biology classroom, when we were learning about evolution. “Look at the wonders that I have created. Remember how the birds never worry for food, because I take care of them all? So also I take care of you, even in your most basic, biological needs. ” He was there in my economics classroom “See again the beauty of the world. Economics is the study of supply and demand. I am the Supplier of all, and I demand nothing but your love.” He was there at the parish Mass and also at the house Mass, where 20 or so students would gather to hear the Word of God proclaimed. He was there when a group of students performed the Life House, Everything skit in the public circle. He was there when a classmate announced her pregnancy and the Political Economy Club hosted a baby shower for her. He was there when about 10 girls, not all Catholic, learned about the beauty of NFP. He was there when Dr. Janet Smith came to Clarion to talk about NFP to the whole campus. God was evident throughout the entire campus, whether all of my classmates and professors realized it or not. He still is.
All this to say: a Catholic education can be found wherever we are.The Church is always there, sometimes we just have to look a little. And if we think we are the only Catholics, we have to be the ones to offer the opportunities. There were first only 12 Apostles, after all.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Kayla-Peterson.png[/author_image] [author_info]Kayla Peterson is a Catholic, a wife, and a secretary. On June 25, 2011 she married the love of her life. Together, they are working on building their marriage for the Lord. Though she is Catholic and her husband is not, they enjoy worshiping Christ together, finding common ground, and trying not to shout about their differences. Their hope is that their children will know, love, and honor God with all their hearts, minds, and souls. Kayla blogs about interfaith marriage and other topics that strike her fancy at The Alluring World.[/author_info] [/author]