By: Alicia Garza
Elizabeth Dey is a freshman Catholic student from Weir, Kansas. She has been Catholic her entire life.
Q: What’s important to you about your religion?
A: Staying as true to it as possible, while still being open to new ideas.
Q: What kind of values do you need to stay true to?
A: Well, what I would like to stay true to is the idea that my God is there to take mercy on us; he is there to be our protector and our guider. If we need someone to pick us back up, he’s there to do it, he’s willing to do it. Some new ideas that I kind of wish would be more evolved is the idea maybe of, let’s say, being gay in the religion. I know that’s not the most accepted idea, but as we’re speaking, the new pope kind of is working that way, which is amazing.
Q: What are the values of Catholicism that you think are most important?
A: To me--kind of the idea that no matter where you are, no matter what you’re going through, no matter, any circumstances you can think of, you can always talk to God. He is always there with an open ear. Even if it’s in the middle of class in the middle of the day and you’re like “Oh my gosh, what do I do?” just start talking and he’ll be there to listen. And that’s always touched me in a certain way.
Q: How does being Catholic play into your everyday life?
A: It plays into my life quite a bit. When I’m contemplating a choice I have to make, I like to think about what God would want me to do. And that happens a lot.
Q: What do you think sets Catholicism apart from other religions?
A: The fact that we’ve stayed pretty true to our traditions, for however many years it’s been. Well, I mean there’s variation of course, in every church, every service that you go to, there’s going to be something a little bit different--but the main core idea is still there. We still take the Eucharist (the wafer they offer) at every service, we still believe that it’s the body and blood of Christ at every service. That has never changed. And that is really cool.
Q: What traditions go along with Catholicism, that the whole religion celebrates, or just you personally?
A: One thing [at] every service you’ll have is singing. There’s always singing. Some more than others--like my church at home, we sing, of course, but not as much as at St. Lawrence up here. I went to a service not too long ago, and they basically sang almost the entire thing, whereas at home, it’s just a few things. So that’s something that will always happen. During Christmas time, and Easter time, we have like a special mass where you also take in the blood of Christ, which is the wine that they give you, which has always kind of been special to me, because I personally think that’s very special--it kind of gets really in depth with it. So that’s always been kind of cool.
Q: Why do you think that’s really special?
A: Well, you know at home, we didn’t do that every service, whereas with the Eucharist, you do--you eat it every time. Whereas with the blood you don’t--it’s just for special circumstances. Which I’ve just always thought was really cool, because it’s just one step closer. On those special days, you’re just one step closer to being with Jesus or with God.
Q: What do you want the University to know about your religion?
A: That even though sometimes it gets a bad rep, and it’s kind of old timey, it’s still living, it’s still a breathing thing. I believe that with any religion, that it’s always changing, ever-flowing. Catholicism is like that-I mean, granted, we are sticklers for our tradition, [but] so are other religions. I just want everybody to keep an open mind. Even though we’ve been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, we’re still willing to keep our eyes open.