How I've Learned To Have Faith At Saint Martin's University

How I've Learned To Have Faith At Saint Martin's University

How my views have changed and developed concerning Faith.


Growing up in Olympia, Washington, I had come across and visited the Saint Martin's University campus a number of times. I had always familiarized Saint Martin's as "the Catholic college with a small campus and a nice pavilion." But it wasn't until I attended this school, as a student, that I became aware of what Catholicism really looked like; and what it felt like.

I have never considered myself to be a religious person, and when I first arrived to Saint Martin's as an official student, I was overwhelmed and nervous about the prospects of learning at a Catholic institution. To be frank, I came into my freshman year with quite a negative view of religion. I had heard nasty rumors of Catholics shaming members of the LGBTQ community, and Catholics condemning pro-choice supporters as sinners. Before attending Saint Martin's University and listening to what the students, staff, and faculty had to say about Catholicism, I had never thought strongly of my Faith. I truly believe that listening to the people of Saint Martin's has caused me to identify and develop my own values and faith.

My first encounter with Catholicism at Saint Martin's was, not surprisingly, in the classroom. I took Intro to Religious Studies (RLS 111) with Dr. Katie Bugyis during the fall semester of my freshman year. The basics of this course were to complete the assigned readings at home, and discuss the contents of them with prompted questions from our professor in class. At first, I found myself extremely overwhelmed: I had never read the Bible, I didn't pray, and what was a rosary? I was lost. But after careful readings and discussions I began to learn a lot about Christianity and Catholicism, along with Judaism and Islam. Along with platonic and straightforward readings, the class as a whole would discuss the morality and meaning behind these religious teachings. For instance we would discuss whether or not someone who is gluten-free should be able to have an alternative wafer during communion. Or whether or not members of interfaith should be welcome to multiple churches, mosques, or other places of worship.

After these "icebreaking" questions, Dr. Bugyis would prompt us to discuss matters that may be considered more "political" or "social" in modern times. I truly expected the Catholic students in my class to be harsh and unwilling when discussing issues such as gay marriage and abortion, among others. I was completely wrong. I found that every student in my class, regardless of religion, was extremely open and accepting of all opinions on every topic. No one shamed another person for their thoughts, and everyone listen patiently and tolerantly. I was happily shocked to witness and experience, firsthand, the kindness, compassion, and understanding views of students all across Saint Martin's. I began to see faith in a different light. Faith wasn't this hyper-religious, god-worshipping, unaccepting of others obsession that I had pictured in my mind. And to be honest, I'm kind of ashamed to have had this stereotype in place in the first place. Nonetheless, I quickly began to develop my own faith. And although I do not ascribe to one of the major religions, or even pray regularly, I have found peace and solace in acknowledging a higher force of love and protection over my family.

Faith is still a tricky concept for me. But it is clear that attending Saint Martin's was an extremely beneficial step in my personal faith development. If it weren't for the teachings of my professors, advice from the faculty, and help from my fellow students, I would not have turned my compassionate listening skills into a stronger form of education.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments