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.
St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Chapel and College Ministries
1515 12th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
The Catholic Student Ministry
Home for the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama
Copyright 2015, Saint Stephen the Martyr Catholic Chapel and College Ministries