By SUSANNAH TOMBES
Easter Sunday is my favorite day of the entire year because of the hope that it gives me, and what it represents for my faith as a Catholic. Easter for my family is not about the Easter bunny and egg hunts. For us, it’s a chance to be with each other and celebrate the sacrifice and gift of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Both of my parents converted to Catholicism, so this day is also a reminder to me about the decision that they made before they even met. They both entered the Church on the Easter Vigil Mass, years apart, but it is that connection that joined them together. I do not think that they would realize then how their simple “yes” to joining the Catholic Church would change the trajectory of their lives and their children’s’ lives.
It is because of their commitment to Catholicism and to living out the teachings of the Church and God, that I could witness to what it truly means to be Catholic.
My parents never once forced Catholicism on my siblings and myself. They shared the importance of Mass, the sacraments and what it means to love your neighbor as yourself, but never made me think that I absolutely had to believe what they did. I decided to believe in Catholicism on my own. I chose to believe what my parents shared with me because of their authenticity in sharing it. As I grew older, I slowly began to understand my religion in a deeper context and why they mattered to not only me personally, but to my family and friends.
After coming to college, I began to realize that the foundation of faith my parents set me up with helped my transition in entering UMW easier than I think it would have been otherwise. Going home for breaks or holidays, but especially Easter, gives me a greater appreciation for everything that my parents have sacrificed for my siblings and me.
Being Catholic is not easy, and my parents knew that when they converted. However, I am thankful that they jumped in cold water to live full lives regardless of how difficult they would be. Because of their decision to become Catholic, I have an appreciation for suffering and joy in ways that I do not think that I would have if my parents had not showed my siblings and I what it truly means to live our lives to the fullest.