I was born a twin and almost died when I was born mum and Dad had me baptised as they thought I would not make it. I went to a Catholic primary school run by the nuns. My primary and secondary school was Catholic so by the time I came to go to work I had a very good background in the Catholic faith and myself had a strong faith.
I was married at twenty one and my husband turned Catholic at the time of the marriage and I believed that marriage was a life-long commitment. In the space of seven years we had three children. On our ninth wedding anniversary he told me he had been seeing another woman and that she was moving into our house the following weekend. I thought he was joking but he was serious so we moved out and my parents came and picked me and the kids up and took us to their bach. This was when my faith helped me so much and the Lord really started to work in my life. I was totally devastated, my world had blown apart and I had three children to take care of on my own. I hit rock bottom. The only thing that stayed the same was that I went to Mass on Sunday and got strength from going to receive the Eucharist. It gave me strength to carry on one day at a time.
The three of us moved to a different town and I put my name in the new parishioners book and a nun came to visit me from the new parish. She helped me so much just by listening and being there. The children were going through their own grief and in the end the doctor said the best thing I could do for the children was to get them back to my home town where they knew more people and had familiar surroundings then they could have more contact with their dad which would help-- so we moved back to my hometown after three years away.
I came back and with three friends started up a group for separated widowed and divorced people through the Catholic church which ran four times a year for five years . I then joined the Cancer Support group which I was involved in for ten years. This was an incredible time sharing Jesus with the dying, so many precious memories! I then joined the Catholic Chaplaincy for nine years bringing the Eucharist to the patients in hospital visiting then just before their operations and walking alongside them. It was a very blessed time.
I went to work in an Alzheimer's unit as a recreation provider. It was amazing! I took residents to Mass and they remembered all the words of the Mass and the songs. I also said the rosary with one of the residents but due to health problems I had to leave that job. I was having problems breathing. The dr thought I had asthma and the ambulance was picking me up on average two times a week. I would end up in ICU for three or four days. I did not know what Jesus was doing with my life but he needed me to be in the hospital to help the patients in there. So many things have happened while I have been in the hospital!
One night the ambulance men picked me up I was in the resus room and I saw the eyes of one of the Drs and I could not breathe. I asked Jesus to let me know if this Dr knew God. The Dr went with me to Intensive Care and as he was leaving he said to me “May your God be with you.” It was such a comfort! I have been ill now for five years and two years ago I had a stroke and have recently seen a specialist. My children have all grown but we are such a close family. I have grown closer to my God than I have ever been and for me I would not change a thing. The depth of love and the relationship I have with Jesus has grown from strength to strength.
To answer the question WHY DID I CHOSE THE CATHOLIC WAY TO JESUS? The Catholic faith has all the sacraments and the Mass to help us on the way through life. It is only as an adult that we have free will to choose to follow the Catholic faith. A personal relationship with Jesus is a most precious gift. As we grow older the relationship deepens we also have the support of the church community to come together for special occasions. I think for me the reading from Romans 5: 1-5 sums up how I feel about my faith:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access, by faith, into this grace, in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, character: and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
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