Monday, May 16, 2011

Wearing My Religion On My Sleeve

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic.  At one point in my life, I read at Mass, attended daily mass at St. John's Church  in Millers Falls , and frequently at Cornell University and the College of Our Lady of the Elms,  and even graduated from a Roman Catholic college, The College of Our Lady of the Elms

After graduating from Our Lady of the Elms, , I accepted a position at Catholic Family Service, Inc. for the Diocese of Amarillo, but was stationed in Lubbock, Texas. Eventually, the Diocese of Lubbock was created, and Catholic Family Service, Inc. in Lubbock was also created. I worked there ten years, before I moved on to other employment.  But my admiration, respect and caring for the agency has not diminished.

A few years ago, there was a 25th anniversary of the agency, and I attended. I was asked about being a committee or board member, and I applied. I am on the PR/Membership committee, and this year, was elected to the board.  I was delighted but intimidated. I am honored to serve, but do not have deep pockets, business or money contacts that board members are often asked to utilize. 

I am delighted that the new director has asked me to contribute in regards to professional areas: licensing, supervision, documentation training, and planning for counseling.  What an honor.

I do not wear my religion on my sleeve.  I do pray, daily. But I do not make a show of it.  I start my day with a thanks to God. I pray at other times during the day, but not do so that anyone would notice. 

I have several colleagues who wear their religion on their sleeve: they pray noticeably, and otherwise discuss their religious practices.  I am not comfortable with that. I think God knows what I am doing and why, and I do not need to proselytize, because as a professional social worker, using my influence to proselytize would be an abuse of power.  I am not criticizing my colleagues who pray openly.  I am just saying that my faith in God, which does not change, is private, and also offers others the opportunity to have private but hopeful interfaces with the Maker.

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