Faith on My Own Terms: How Villanova Rooted My Restlessness

Madison Hacker

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to a Catholic school until second grade. I went to church with my family on Sundays. Yet, it felt like I was being spoon-fed religion. I certainly did not appreciate it. I dreaded going to Mass, and when I moved to a public school in 3rd grade, I hated religious education. It was boring and felt more like a chore than a faith. I had to go to religious education until 8th grade, when I was Confirmed. I hated every minute of it. It was like this until I came to Villanova. I decided to go to Mass one Sunday night. When I was there, I found myself thinking, ‘I belong here. This is my community. Previously, I had never thought of mass as meaningful or interesting. However, when I attended my first Mass at Villanova, it felt like I had found a special connection there that I had failed to truly find anywhere else. The Villanova Church has become my safe space, because I gave it permission to be. Now, I am a trained lector and experienced my first time lectoring last Sunday. It was a truly incredible experience. I was serving as God’s mouthpiece for a few amazing moments. What I once dreaded I now look forward to with anticipatory glee. I found a cause to follow, and I follow it dedicatedly. I am practicing faith for the first time on my own terms.