I am a sophomore pre-nursing student at UAB. Growing up, my faith was tested at a young age when a friend was diagnosed with Leukemia. Later in high school, I had to face the truth that what I thought was love (from a bad relationship) wasn’t good for me and didn’t make me a better person. I wanted something more. As we like to say, I had a “come to Jesus” moment during Adoration, and now I know what humble and authentic love looks like.
I serve as a student missionary through Saint Stephen Catholic Chapel, and l helped to lead the “Awakening” retreat last weekend. One of the most exciting things about an Awakening retreat is that it is led BY students FOR students (under the guidance of priests and mentors)! Needless to say, the two days spent serving these retreaters are extremely important, because we have to lead them closer to Jesus Christ, the only person who will fill each of their voids that the world only temporarily fills.
A few weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Texas and participate in Texas A&M’s 106th Awakening! (We are just on number 3 here in Birmingham!) The Catholic students at this university took my breath away! The faith and compassion each student leader carried on this retreat moved my soul in many ways. About two hundred students lead this retreat three times a year, and over a hundred were on the retreat. I heard many powerful talks by student leaders and even a professor from the university about important elements of the Catholic faith. While at one of the many Masses that weekend, I couldn’t even hear myself sing because all these college students were praising our God with all their might! It was such a beautiful experience, to be able to share this one weekend and the Eucharist with so many people MY AGE.
We want to bring this all to Alabama, and we are well on our way! I cannot wait to see how Christ will continue to work on my campus and in the hearts of all His children in the years to come.