religion Essay

2784 Words12 Pages
My Religious Odyssey
You can take the girl out of Catholic School…

Most people grow up with some type of belief system. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and even Agnosticism are some examples. It wasn’t until I had a child that I realized that religion was just man’s way of explaining God. Even as a kid, however, I always believed in a higher being. Not just because of my very heavy-handed Catholic upbringing. I questioned many things about my religion. Since I loved science, I was confused about how the “Big Bang” and Adam and Eve coexisted, but I always knew that God existed. I had no scientific irrefutable evidence – I just had faith. You know how they say everything you ever really need to know you learned by first grade? Well it
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Catholicism had a profound influence on my life. It’s almost hard to explain to someone who has not had the same experience. Since I attended both Catholic school and church, Catholicism had a total indoctrination in my life. My brother attended church with us, but went to a magnet public school, instead of St. Margaret’s. There was a BIG difference. He attended classes outside of school to study for his first communion and confirmation, but the experience was much less intense.
When you are both Black and Catholic, one’s religions and cultural identities are sometimes at odds. God is viewed as a very strict paternal figure and seemed very distant and removed to me as a child. I heard about and talked about God every day, but I didn’t really have any real relationship with God. But because Catholicism has both a lot of structure and fit in well within the constraints and confines of order (I was good at following rules), I had few problems embracing the Catholic church and its rules and tenets. I also loved the beauty and ostentation of most Catholic churches. St. Margaret, still to this day, remains in my memory, one of the prettiest churches I’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t until I turned eleven that I started to question certain beliefs. I wondered why only Christians got into heaven, why I couldn’t be an altar girl, and why nuns didn’t have the same power as priests, even though they did the majority of
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