Growing up, I was raised Catholic, but I was not devout. My freshman year of college, I was not involved in my faith at all, and I could tell there was something missing. My sophomore year, I came back to the Church as a way to get away from the overwhelming stress of roommates and school. It was during one of the more difficult times in my life that I really started pursuing my faith at a deeper level.
St. Stephens was my oasis from campus. It has been where I spent hours studying, spending time with friends, and developing a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Through a FOCUS* Bible study, I came to delve deep into God’s words and really opened myself to His influence in my life. Now, I lead a Bible study with five sophomore and junior girls. Looking back on my early undergraduate years, I would have never thought I could develop such a deep and lasting relationship with our Lord. I would never have thought that I would become involved in a church community or actually want to attend Mass. Thankfully I have developed this relationship with Jesus Christ in my early 20s and not later in life.
This past spring, I graduated from UAB with my B.S. in neuroscience with minors in biology and chemistry. I am finishing my master’s of public health in health behavior and have been accepted into medical school. Without the opportunities presented to me through Saint Stephen Chapel, I probably would have left the Church like so many other college students do. Instead, I grew in my faith. While I do not know where I will be next year, I do know that I can always find another parish to call home.
*FOCUS stands for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Saint Stephen Chapel partners with FOCUS national organization to provide four full-time FOCUS missionaries who serve UAB campus.