Becoming Better Through Faith

It is hard for me to remember it now, but for about half my life I wasn’t a  member of the Catholic Church. I was  raised in the Congregational Church.  Religion never played a big part in  my life, and through my late teens  and twenties I only went to church on  Easter and Christmas — and that was  only as a favor to my parents. Church  was not high on my priority list, yet as I navigated the ups and downs of life, there was a void I didn’t know how to  fill. 

Sometimes when you least expect it, your life can change. That change  happened when I met my wife, Polly, at a picnic one summer. We started  dating and I began going to Mass  with her on Sundays. What I came  to discover was a chance to become closer to Jesus in a very meaningful  way. I remember telling her that when  I was at Mass, I felt like I was home.  

I knew this was what was missing in  my life. With Polly’s encouragement,  I joined the RCIA program at St.  Sebastian parish, where I made my  First Communion and was confirmed.  Polly and I were married there two years later and shortly thereafter started our family.  

We moved to Cedarburg in 2003 and  enrolled our daughter, Julia, at St.  Francis Borgia School after joining the  parish. Now, with Henry, the youngest  of our four children, due to graduate  from St. Francis in 2022, I can say  with certainty both the school and the  parish have been a gift to my family. 

While at first just attending Mass  seemed like enough, I soon wanted  to get more involved in my faith, so I  became a Eucharistic Minister. I also  joined the Knights of Columbus and  have been participated in several of  the men’s morning groups. For any  men reading this — I recommend both  of those, especially if most of your  friends aren’t members of the church.  They provide an opportunity to get to  know other men who take their faith  seriously. 

One satisfying event in my faith life was when my mother came back to  the Catholic faith after being away  for fifty years. Now both my parents  attend mass three times a week. 

We have made many true friends  within the parish community and through the Catholic faith I have  grown to be a better person, husband  and father.

Written by: Peter Schmidt