I arrived on campus planning to leave the Catholic Church. I’d become disillusioned with religion over the last few years, and now that I was out of Mom and Dad’s house, it was time to stop going to church.
Then I got a phone call.
Matt, from Catholic Campus Ministry wanted to get together. He got my number from a contact card I filled out (under Mom and Dad’s insistence) when we visited over the summer.
I wasn’t against the Church or God, I just didn’t care that much. Matt seemed nice enough, and I thought I’d be a jerk to say no to meeting, so we set a time to grab a bite.
We got together, and it turned out that Matt wasn’t some crazy religious nut. He was actually a pretty cool guy. After talking for a bit, Matt invited me to a new student event at the chapel. I had no reason to say no, so I said yes.
At the event, Matt introduced me to some other freshman guys. They were cool, friendly, stand-up dudes. These were guys I wanted to hang out with. They also happened to love Jesus.
I hung out with these guys, and they started rubbing off on me. They were all going on a retreat, so I did too. That retreat sealed the deal.
At that retreat I met 40 people who cared about me like nobody else I’d met yet on campus. These people had a joy that was unknown to me. I went to confession, (and laughed in it!) I prayed in Eucharistic adoration for the first time.
When I got back to campus, I joined Matt’s Bible study. I decided to spent more time with my Catholic friends. I attended daily Mass several times a week. Matt taught me how to pray. Before I knew it, I had a new way of looking at the world. I learned that God loved me, made me for a relationship with him, and became man and died to ensure I’d be able to enter into that relationship. Everything had changed.
And it never would have happened if Matt wouldn’t have called, if those other freshman guys didn’t welcome me in, if the Catholic Campus Ministry at George Mason University wouldn’t have made the decision to share the Gospel and evangelize the Campus. When we choose to leave our comfort zone and share Jesus, lives change. I know, because mine did.