Students share how parents modeled faith

By Catholic New World
Sunday, May 4, 2014

First place: Molly Ziegler of Hoffman Estates, St. Viator High School

Throughout my entire life, my parents have grounded me in the Catholic faith. Catholicism provides a solid foundation for our family life, all thanks to their determination to make Christ’s presence real in the world.

When I was younger, my parents acted as a bridge from Jesus to me. I could not completely grasp the idea of God incarnate, but as I watched my parents follow Jesus’s example of kindness and compassion, this concept grew clearer to me with age. I would wake up every Sunday as my dad came home from playing piano at early Mass. We all enjoyed breakfast together, and my mom and I would leave to attend a later Mass. My mom handed me the check each week, and I was lucky enough to place the envelope in the collection basket. Then Monday, I’d board the bus to St. Hubert Catholic School and wave to my dad who would walk me to the bus stop each morning.

These small actions of kindness not only brought to life Jesus’s message of living for one another, but also revealed to me the importance of incorporating faith into every aspect of my life. The more years I gained, the less I needed a bridge to reach Jesus. My parents’ Christian examples brought me closer to Jesus, made Him real for me, and allowed me to directly form my own relationship with Him.

While I now understand Jesus and consider myself close to Him, I still struggle to follow His example in my daily life. This is again where I can look to my parents for help. My dad teaches history at a junior high and also directs the musicals. I love hearing his stories about the creative projects he assigns the kids and how seeing them happy is so fulfilling to him. He uses his special gifts of knowledge, music, and creativity to bring light to others and to make himself feel complete.

My mom works as Human Resources manager at a large insurance company. This job perfectly suits her. She conducts interviews for new workers and deals with office issues. She does this all with such grace, patience, and compassion. I admire how my parents play to their strengths to do their jobs in the best way possible.

My parents remind me daily, simply with their actions, that everyone is blessed with unique gifts from God that allow them to make Jesus’s presence real in the world. And to me, this is the essence of faith. I simply have to discover what God placed me here to do and, with my parents’ support, I’ll be able to do this in Jesus’s name.


  • faith
  • parents

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