During my childhood days the Church services were very traditional. I still remember that at that time the Mass was said in Latin. I attended the Mass more out of an allegiance to family practices, without really understanding as to what was being said. The Church fascinated me and I listened to the Jesus stories with rapt attention and interest. I very soon realized that there existed different approaches to faith such as the Catholics and the Protestants. However, my grandparents being from Ireland often spoke unfavorably of Protestants. So in a way I preferred to imitate their views regarding religion by holding that there was only one true approach towards faith as espoused by the Roman Catholic Church. I must say I experienced an exposure to different religions not until my teens. Most of my friends were Catholics and we avidly participated in the activities organized by CYO (Catholic Youth Organization).
At the age of 13 I felt a strong desire to devote my life to the service of God and humanity. I aspired for a meaningful social identity through selfless service. To learn more, I actively corresponded with the nursing nuns serving in Pennsylvania. During my high school years, I aspired to be a nursing nun after my graduation. This is the time I affiliated to Fowler’s third stage of faith that is Synthetic-Conventional Faith. I felt so happy and confident that I was going to lead a meaningful life, serving the Church and the faithful.
My course was almost set when. surprisingly I graduated to Fowler’s fourth stage of Faith, the individuative-projective faith. With the passage of time as I came across people from different faiths, I felt an innate need to question my beliefs. I realized that my focus was quiet narrow, which didn’t allow for understanding and appreciating people who were not Catholics.