Catholic College Night
Putting Faith In Action Through Education
Cari Ann’s Testimony
How do you know if the college or university you picked is right for you? You won’t know until you try it!
I started at a public university, studying social relations policy. But despite the friends I made and the information I learned, I found myself defending the Catholic Church daily, and it wasn’t unusual to be in a classroom filled with students who questioned the Church and argued that priests and members of the religious life were compensating for a homosexual life. After my first year, I approached my advisor and explained that I was contemplating religious life and wanted to add religion as a second major. My advisor told me to wait until my second year of college to be sure I wanted to make such a change. Against his advice, I added religion classes, which I found to both challenging and spiritually fulfilling, to my schedule. During my second year, I delved into books by Socrates, Thomas Aquinas and Saint Therese of Liseux. Those classes confirmed one thing: Catholicism was going to play a part in my education one way or another. During the summer months, I volunteered with Miles Christi Religious Order, but what I didn’t realize was that I was preparing myself for the next phase of my life and that God was calling me elsewhere. After spending two years at the university, and attending a more liberal Catholic Church on Sundays, I realized that it wasn’t that I wasn’t fitting in at the university, but the university wasn’t fitting into my life, my future. I transferred to Madonna University in Livonia where I found myself surrounded by individuals who were just like me and had a zeal for the faith. Though most of my teachers were not Catholic, by attending a Catholic institution, I was able to not only attend and participate in Mass daily but to deepen my Catholic faith. I also wasn’t being told to read books about progressive Catholicism that argued for female priests and for priests to be married, which was a perk. I was in a place where my religion was accepted by those who weren’t Catholic, and I didn’t feel like my faith was being used as a benchmark for grading. Whether it was sports, faith formation groups or alternative spring break, Madonna had a slew of student activities to offer me. During my first year there, I joined the Campus Ministry, became the choir director for daily Mass, went to Mississippi to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief and joined a women’s group devoted to learning about and living like Mary. For the first time in two years, I found my calling and was participating in activities that fit my interests. Public universities provide a variety of opportunities for students, but what they don’t provide is the opportunity to grow in your faith. I contemplated a Catholic institution when applying for colleges, but I never thought that I would feel peace by being in the center of Catholic morals and teachings.
I was home.