From Theory To Practice
“A person of understanding delights in wisdom” (Proverbs 10:23).
Education is important in our society; it offers the means for success, but Scripture reminds us that knowledge apart from God can lead to pride. In Proverbs 1:7, Solomon tells us that the source of true knowledge is fear of the Lord; not dread, but reverence for the majesty of God.
The process of all learning begins with parent and child. Throughout life, if we are diligent in living the Word of God, we have nothing to fear! This month, college students are leaving home and beginning a unique journey of independence. Parents provide them with material needs, academic readiness and financial support. An important question is sometimes overlooked at this juncture in life – where will our son or daughter be spiritually fulfilled at school? There is a culture on college campuses today vying for the attention of your loved one. In simpler times, my husband and I helped four children through institutions of higher learning. There were many conversations about faith and the grace of God in those challenging days.
I met an incredible young woman named Amelia Reising at a Teens Encounter Christ retreat in the summer of 2011. She had just graduated from Mater Dei High School, and we discussed her plans to attend Purdue University that fall semester. Amelia impressed me with her mature attitude about life and her relationship with Christ. I told her to thank her parents for doing such a great job raising a strong person of faith. Through social media I continued to follow her success with the rigors of the Speech Pathology Program at Purdue, where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in 2017. She is currently employed with the Owensboro, Ky., school system, where she loves working with elementary students.
Amelia truly lives the Catholic faith, and she credits her parents, Paul and Cecilia Reising, for being her greatest influences. She shared that her Dad was strong in catechesis, and if he could not answer her questions, they would seek the answers together. This family of five children always spent Sunday evenings praying together. While growing up, all topics were openly discussed including the teachings of the Church on abstinence. Amelia found a home away from home in the campus ministry at Purdue University with St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, under the leadership of Father Patrick Baikauskas, O. P.
Amelia was involved with organizations in the community, including “Students for Life,” serving as a parish women’s group leader and making mission trips sponsored by St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. In her senior year, she lived at Antioch House, where students were committed to pray together as a community. Amelia’s advice to young adults on college campuses is powerful. It does not involve safe spaces or an attitude of relativism (e.g. “if it feels good it must be right”). She truly understands that the grace received in the Sacraments of the Church empower faith in all situations. “We must make individual choices and surround ourselves with friends who share our values. We cannot be timid in witnessing the teachings of Christ to others when the opportunity arises,” Amelia said.
Amelia and her mother recently trained with the St. Paul Street Evangelization Ministry. She is looking for an opportunity to be involved now that she is back in the Evansville area. Remind young people to pray about where God is calling them in life. The presence of young adults like Amelia gives great hope to the future Church, and reverence to the majesty of God! Amen!