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“Words can’t describe the impact Father Greg and The Newman Center have had on me”

April 5, 2013

We are not the people we were 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even a year ago. During the time that we grow and change we can either improve ourselves or become a person we never really wanted to be. 2 years ago I was a person I didn’t want to be. I got drunk too often, hooked up with too many random guys, and stopped caring about school. Looking back, I really had no direction. I was lost and wandering. I had gone to the Newman Center a few times but stopped going because my friends weren’t very interested. I had gone too church most Sunday mornings, but that stopped when I preferred to nurse a hangover rather than spend an hour at St. Stephen’s. This all changed a little over a year ago when a friend badgered me into coming to the Newman Center with her for Tuesday night dinners. She was like me, a little lost but trying to get back on track. For her, faith was the way to do it. I realized how unhappy I had been and I thought that maybe I should take a stab at being a better Catholic. With her urging I started talking to Father Greg weekly and finally getting to know him. I went to confession for the first time in four years. And as awkward as it was (trust me, confession is never not awkward), Father Greg never judged me. Instead we talked about the motives behind my actions, my feelings, and if I was fulfilled. I wasn’t. .

 

I talked to Father Greg more and more. Texted him at 2 am and cried in front of him more than I have ever cried in front of everyone. And all of this happened because of how comfortable I feel with him. He has become my anchor and I could not imagine my college experience without him. I honestly don’t even know how I survived a year and a half without his guidance. It’s been a little over a year since I first talked with Father Greg and we still meet weekly. Our conversations range from me asking for guidance and wisdom, to grilling him about Catholic doctrine. And while there are things that we disagree about he never judges me or disrespects my views and opinions. I have learned that with him I can say anything and my words, feelings, and thoughts are safe. Father Greg has not only been there for support, but he has also urged me to get to know my faith better. I now go to daily mass, and while some people may judge this, those thirty minutes in the Newman Center chapel are easily the best part of my day. Today I am not the person I was two years ago, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

In today’s world people of faith are often judged and looked down upon. Believing in a higher power is sometimes seen as silly, and living by a moral code is viewed as ridiculous. Today, people like to create their own morals, and decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. I like to decide my moral’s based off of Jesus’s teachings, not my own. The Newman Center is a place I can go where I am not judged for having faith. Instead, I am encouraged to further explore my faith and be the best person I can be as a result. Words cannot describe the impact Father Greg and the Newman Center have had on me. I am so grateful they are on GW’s campus because Catholics at GW would be completely and utterly lost without Father Greg.
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