I understand that the abuse that happened with the Catholic Church is a terrible thing, of course I do!
But that does not make all Catholics, or everything that the Catholic Church is...bad.
It is not.
I never went to Catholic schools.
My first school was tiny. It was called Tamrookum State School and when I started there were 19 students. Not in my class, in the whole school! It was a one classroom, one teacher school and I loved it! It had grown by the time I reached Year 7, then we had two classrooms and two teachers.
|My whole school when I was in Yr 2|
High school, however, was a totally different story. When I started there were 10 classes of Year 8s alone! The whole school was around 1000 students. I felt lost, I felt scared, and for the most part, I hated it. I did find a few friends over the 5 years I spent there. But I don't keep in touch with any of those now, and I still now can instantly recall the pain and tears of being teased and picked on by the 'tough kids'. There were plenty of those.
All through these years I went to Mass with my family every weekend.
It was often my favourite social outing of the week because we usually stayed to chat with friends afterwards. I felt a strong connection with 'being Catholic'.
|My college graduation|
It wasn't until I went to a Catholic teacher's college that I felt I truly belonged.
The friends I found there I still feel very close to.
And then I began teaching in Catholic schools and loved it.
I love the feeling of a Catholic school. It's the perfect place for my kids.
I know some people have had terrible experiences with Catholic schools.
And that's awful.
But you know what?
I'm over the vitriol and negativity.
When I was in Year 3 I went on a weekend "Reconciliation Camp" run by nuns to prepare the 'state school kids' for First Reconciliation. I was extremely shy and didn't want to stay. One of the nuns took me under her wing and looked after me the whole time. I'll never forget her.
When I got my first teaching in Toowoomba (2 hours from home) and had nowhere to live, the nuns took me in for 2 weeks until I moved in with another teacher. It was a bit weird living with the nuns, but they were very kind and generous and I still appreciate their hospitality.
I could go on but my point is...
There is good in the Catholic Church, believe it or not.
|Our beautiful church|