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Love letters to the Catholic Church

By Denise Scott

There is a funny story about me. When I was born, I was very ill, they told my mother to baptise me quick before I die. She found two random people in church that Sunday who became my godparents. She even offered me up to La Divina Pastora, and guess what? I lived! But my childhood spirituality was a cross between Baptist, Pentecostal and a sprinkling of Hinduism. I never even knew I was Catholic until I entered secondary school.

Then I stepped into Holy Faith Convent one bright September morning and fell in love with the Catholic religion. It was like a whole world was just waiting for me to enter. A world I had never experienced before. I was only 11 years old but I knew that I was home. I have spent my whole life ever since that faithful Monday in September 1986 being absolutely in love with the Catholic Church.

We fight sometimes and oh my goodness, if I told you how many times people have bad-mouthed my Church to me. Imagine this super black conscious woman (me) … how can she be Catholic? But I am… I proudly say there is Catholic blood running through my veins.

I decided to see who else loves their Church and if women remembered when and why they fell in love with the Catholic Church.

Judith Ann Scott – Christ the Lord and St Michael’s RC Church, Marabella

1) I love being a Catholic because of the Eucharist. We actually eat the Body and drink the Blood of Christ at each Mass as He instructed us to do.

2) My favourite memory as a Catholic is my Confirmation.

3) For me it was not about falling in love. I grew up in the Catholic Church. It has nurtured me and formed me spiritually. Just like parents, one does not fall in love with their parents, they love them naturally from the beginning.

Kerise Marie Rawlins – St Anthony’s, Point Fortin

1) I love being Catholic because of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It gives me peace to know that Confession is so readily available, my God is always ready to listen and forgive.

2) My favourite memory as a Catholic is doing music ministry. There was this particular time that a couple of us youths from Point Fortin led an evening of praise and worship in San Fernando and it was the most breathtaking evening. Youths were so open and ready to receive The Word, so brave! They sang, they cried, they danced and praised! We didn’t have to pull teeth and force anybody to praise…. they wanted to praise- as it should be. I will never forget that.

3) I first fell in love with the Catholic Church when I started going to St Anthony’s parish in Point Fortin. Man, the energy there was different, the music was inviting! So vibrant. I couldn’t help but fall in love with my faith.

Bernadette Gopaul Ramkhalawan – St Dominic’s RC Church, Penal

1. I like knowing that I belong to a universal Church and I can go anywhere in the world and feel a sense of belonging to this universal community of believers.

2. My favourite memory as a Catholic was attending the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver. It was an amazing feeling and experience to meet youths from around the world and hear about life in their part of the world. It gave me a sense of vocation and purpose and truly sealed my faith as a Catholic by helping me appreciate that I belong to an institution which is destined to make a difference in this world.

3. I first fell in love with the Catholic Church at 12 years old when I started attending secondary school in San Fernando. Though I was not attending a Catholic school, I would frequent OLPH at San Fernando. My experience on this Church compound played a big part in my development, thinking and emotions. I first met Fr [Ronald]Mendes who was very fatherly to me, always having a kind word of love that encouraged me to go to daily Mass. I later met parishioners who included me in Legion of Mary, lector, sick visitation, etc. I found myself and so fell in love with the Church and since then, the Church has been an integral part of my life.

Ana Patricia Ricomas Phillip – St Paul’s RC Church, Couva

1. I love being a Catholic because of our signs, symbols and gestures that reflect who we are and what we stand for both publicly and privately. You know a practising Catholic by their actions.

2. My favourite memory as an adult Catholic is attending my kids’ Baptism

3. I fell in love with the Catholic Church at my own Confirmation: – I recognised my own spiritual growth.