In her own words, Lauren shares the story of her faith journey and relationship with the Catholic Church.
If the universe was created by God, then pieces of God are gonna be in everything on the planet. That kind of naturalism and the connection with Mother Nature is that something that I really adopted into my personal beliefs.
Growing up, I would describe my involvement with the Catholic Church as intense in a positive way. I went to Catholic preschool and Public School up until High School, when I went to Catholic High School. We went to mass every Sunday. Nowadays, I go to church, I go when my whole family is going to church or when my grandparents invite me to church specifically for something.
I would self identify as a spiritual Catholic with postmodernist philosophies. My identities as spirituality and Catholic are too two separate, but complete identities within themselves. And the postmodernism basically means that I think, asking questions and discovering about the universe that we live in are positive, but at the end of the day, because none of us are going to know the ultimate truth of what this universe looks like, there’s no point in discussing who’s right or who’s wrong as long as we’re not hurting each other.
What’s been most important to me in the Catholic tradition has definitely been social justice teachings. I find that when I get to contribute to the world that has given me so many blessings, I feel so connected to God and the people around me.
I was always really involved and making sure that the LGBTQ community in my world felt welcomed and loved by me and specially as a Catholic. So I can present to them image of, “I’m a Christian and I love you. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. I just want to be here and support you.” To portray myself that way, through my actions, I am showing you the love of Jesus and God and what I have to experience as a Catholic.
If we had that attitude we are all going to experience this wonderful divinity, differently and separately while coming together and sharing each other. Then I think that kind of space would allow for more people to feel welcome. I would love to see more movement, to have women Deacons and priest in the church. As much progress has been made in the Catholic Church, I feel that is something long overdue. And that is something I personally feel definitely an incredibly difficult when deciding to stay with the Catholic Church and being a woman.
Growing up I kind of assumed that as Catholics, you had to follow a specific political beliefs, you had to follow specific lifestyle choices. That everybody had the same kind of attitude, beliefs and lifestyles that is where I felt like I was on the outskirts of this community because if I didn’t see myself fitting into whatever this looked like. Then I wouldn’t feel comfortable staying there and stay in building a community because I had to hide certain parts of myself. Certain parts of myself that were hidden, I believe, are parts of myself that come from experience that God gave me. That I was made exactly as God wanted me to be made.