Sharing family and faith

I am very dedicated to my religion, and it usually comes as a surprise to others if I mention that my parents are of two different religions—my mom is Catholic and my dad is Jewish.

It has come to be normal that others then assume that my parents are either divorced or were never married. Neither could be farther from the truth.

When taking an honors seminar last semester that focused on culture and literature in the family structure, I became aware that many married couples are not very happy.

My parents are the happiest couple that I know, and I am proud to be their daughter. My family consists of two religions, two parents that give love to their children and grandchildren, two sets of traditions, two holiday circuits and twice the excitement.

Faith should not tear us apart—it should bring us together. Our faiths make us unique, and that is what keeps the world exciting.

I have been very active with the Catholic Campus Ministry on campus. I have met some of my very best friends through that club, and I would not trade those experiences for anything.

Sharing my faith with other college students has proved to be meaningful and necessary during this very life-changing time in my life. I do know, however, that sharing the same religion with someone will not automatically make us friends, and not sharing the same religion as someone will not automatically make us enemies.

When I go home over winter break and I see the Christmas tree lit with Hanukkah ornaments hanging, or the Santa Claus statue sitting next to a Menorah, nothing could possibly be a more beautiful sight.

When we have a few busy weekends in a row because Easter and Passover happen to fall around the same time, my heart fills with joy because it means I get even more excuses to spend time with my amazing family.

Faith gives us many opportunities—ones to make friends, create traditions and learn about the world’s differences. I enjoy having friends that share my faith and ones who can teach me about theirs.

Embracing both of my families’ faiths will continue to be an important part of my life. Celebrate all that you can with people who you care about, and life will be full of excitement and love.

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