By J1 Reporter: Nyayian Biel
“Being in a Catholic school has made me less inclined to come back to my faith,” junior Anna Methe said. “Maybe it’s because now I am the outsider looking in, but I feel more free and less restricted.” To many people, living in the bubble of religion is exasperating, as Methe explained it, seeing the religion as an outsider shows her the flaws and shortcomings of Catholicism.
As Methe has grown up living in the Catholic faith, it has caused her to realize some things, one big thing is that she does not really believe in a God. As she explains it, she realized her disconnect from God in the eighth grade. While other kids were focused on Confirmation and solidifying their place in the church, Anna was dealing with her self identity and remarks her priest had made over many class periods. These remarks made her feel as if she was an outsider in her own religion.
According to Anna, she was never a devout Catholic, she was just blindly following what she was taught and raised to believe. This is a different story for junior Patrice Roubidoux. “I was raised in a Catholic family but we weren’t really strict about Catholicism, my mom had me and my sisters baptized, but we never really went to church. We didn’t pray a lot either,” Roubidoux said. Living in a home that had little Catholic influences has made it easier to disconnect and feel no compulsion to return to the religion she was baptized into. Unlike Methe, Roubidoux came to realize her distant place in the church sometime during the fourth grade. Both girls do not see themselves returning and devoting themselves to Catholicism.
Marian theology teacher, Mrs. Lori Spanbauer, has said that she believes there is a chance for girls like Methe and Roubidoux to return to the church. She acknowledges that by the end of senior year there will be a decrease of girls who practice the Catholic religion, but she also believes that the majority of these girl who have stepped away from the church will return. “It is a very normal thing. It is normal for girls to question their faith and take a step back, then they find answers and begin to engage back into their faith.”
Junior Sarah Rollag has been through the questioning phase and is now a devout Christian. It all started her freshman year at Marian, she didn’t know anyone when entering the halls which made her feel like the “odd one out.” She took this in stride and found a community she fit into, this was at her church. She learned to not dread her time at Marian and as she explains it, “I had to put [my] trust in the Lord that everything was going to be okay, and I was placed at Marian for a reason. Even if I don’t know that reason, I still knew that the Lord wanted me here for a reason.” Despite her initially feeling strength and comfort in her church because she felt lonely at Marian, she is glad she took the chance to get closer to God. Ever since she has fully dedicated her life to God, she has grown and has become aware of the grace that surrounds her in her life.
For girls like Anna Methe and Patrice Roubidoux believing in God is not a top priority for them at the moment. To Lori Spanbauer there is always a time for girls to return to their faith, and for Sarah Rollag the church is her constant and her strength.