Bridgid is a Tenth Grader at Hopkins High School. She's been a peer minister at Saint Joan of Arc for the past two years.
I know this is an issue that’s been talked about a lot in our church right now, but something that’s been on my mind recently is the reaction of our community to Saint Joan’s and the activities we do and people we invite to our church.
Several weeks ago, the tenth grade class went to a Buddhist Vihara. We received a lot of negative comments on social media for that, saying that we were “Inviting Satan into our lives” and that this was “sacrilegious”. Saint Joan’s decided to take the post down, which, although I understand it was for protecting the safety of minors, felt like we were giving in to what the other people had said.
It shocked me so much that other Catholics were being so cruel. It wasn’t just people around Minnesota and our area; it was people from all over the country and the world. I think it’s really uncharacteristic of us to preach about loving your neighbor as yourself and then go out and say things like that.
Since I am going through confirmation right now, I’ve been paying attention to our [Catholic] community and that has really disillusioned me. However I am very proud of the way that Saint Joan of Arc has handled this situation, as well as the situation with pre-Mass speakers that also received a lot of criticism around the same time.
I think it is our duty as Catholics to show the world another side that is welcoming and open-minded. This experience has really opened my mind and helped me recognize the privilege that we have in regards to our religion. It was shocking to see people angry at us for something that we thought was right. There are many other people who this happens to daily, and I am only now beginning to realize that.
One of the reasons I love this church so much is that even in our mission statement, we welcome you wherever you are on your journey, I can see the amount of love that we have as a parish. That is something that I am proud to belong to.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.