Growing up in the Catholic Church creates a sense of belonging that only grows deeper as your faith continues. As a part of this major religion, I can think of many ways that connect us all; here are twelve.

1. Catholic families are huge.

When we get together for Easter or Christmas, we are almost guaranteed to meet a new baby in the family. We may even have some family members that we did not know. Our disbelief in contraception is to blame.

2. We have set plans every Sunday morning.

If our fellow church-goers notice our spot in the pew is empty, they will notice and they will question us on the following Sunday.

3. Mass is a mass workout.

Stand, sit, stand, kneel, stand, kneel, sit, stand.

4. We know that rosaries are for praying, not for wearing.

Although rosaries appear to be a cute accessory, they are not meant to be worn. They are used in prayer.

5. During Lent, we have a place to eat dinner every Friday.

We never have to go any further than the local Church for dinner on Friday nights. There is a fish-fry in nearly every town, in honor of Lent.

6. It is not frowned upon to have a few.

Catholics are known to love their alcohol, so much that we drink a little during mass. Don't mind if I do.

7. Every Catholic can recite prayers in unison.

"Our Father," "Hail Mary" and "Glory Be," just to name a few. We learn these prayers as children, and they become implanted in our minds forever. Also, grace before a meal is a uniform prayer we all pray together.

8. We sing. A lot.

The songs we sing are not contemporary songs and tend to frighten new guests.

9. We are very traditional.

From music to marriage, we keep it all traditional.

10. The Church's negative reputation is irritating.

Just because one wrongdoing is exposed in the Church, does not mean all Catholic Churches are corrupt. Just like not all cops are bad. Just like not all whites are racist. And so on.

11. Some people will struggle to understand the religion.

Why do you use specific names, rather than just "church" and "priest"? Why do you go to Confession? Why can't everyone receive Communion?

12. We are all a family.

There are so many Catholics in this world. Anywhere you go, you are sure to meet someone who shares your religion. This is a bond that cannot be broken. Knowing that you always have your Church family to support you, is quite the comforting thought.

Growing up Catholic has brought endless memories; going to mass every weekend with my grandma and grandpa, going to a friend's house and being able to recite their evening prayers and enjoying Fish Fry Friday's and Donut Sunday's. Not only because of the memories but with the reassuring faith I have received, I am proud to say I am a Catholic; a drinking, singing, kneeling, sitting, standing Catholic. God bless.

XO & best wishes,

Ashley Rose Corbin