At 8 years old I asked to become Catholic. I was Baptized and soon after received my first Holy Communion. I received the Sacrament of Confirmation around the age of 12. I have been a devout Catholic my entire life. I was known as the Catholic girl. When I was a young girl, I believed God was calling me to religious life. During most of my young life I researched religious life and talked to religious sisters and priests and befriended my religion teachers and professors. Looking back now, I feel I was a little obsessive. I actively discerned my call to religious life for two years while I was in graduate school. I discerned that religious life wasn’t for me.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Theology and a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry. In the past I had been an Assistant Coordinator of Religious Education, a Coordinator of Religious Education, a Director of Religious Education, and a religion teacher. I’m currently not working ministerially.
Despite all of my theological and ministerial background I feel empty. It’s not new to me to struggle with prayer, but my issues are rooted deeper. When I go to Church I feel displaced. I don’t feel a sense of belonging. [I used to love to go to Church. I would go weekdays and Sundays.]
Additional Information about myself:
• Lost childhood parish to a fire, we’ve since rebuilt
• Used to be extremely active in the parish including: Lector, Eucharistic Minister, DRE, office assistant, personal assistant to the priest etc.
• Unable to find a job in ministry (worked part-time earning a stipend in the parish and taught religion in middle/junior/high school)
• Beloved priest was forced to retire and now we share two priests from the next city over
• Possibly sexually abused by biological father
• In a serious unchaste relationship—marriage in the future
• History of anxiety and depression
• Lost my dad (grandfather) to cancer November 2017
— I’m not feeling secure as it is with God and the Church in generally. Please don’t make statements like I need to go to confession, speak to a priest, or spiritual director. Ultimately, I’m trying to dive in deeper to find the underlining cause.