From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College

My Spiritual Journey Testimony from Catholicism to the Wild Life….

(Part 1)

I was born into a Catholic family on a Catholic island, Puerto Rico. When I was 2 1/2 my dad decided that he could make more money living in New York, so he went there first & got a job in sales and then he sent for me and my mom.

I remember growing up and going to church with my mom every Sunday —never failed rain, snow, sleet, we went to church on Sunday. My dad never went to church—he had an excuse that he had a knee injury and that didn’t allow him to kneel in church. God forbid he couldn’t kneel in church. Missing church was a mortal sin. Maybe my dad had a special pass from the priest.

Once I did my first communion, we had to go to church on Saturday for confession to confess our sins that we committed that week, to be able to receive communion on Sunday during mass. I remember sometimes making up sins. So, yes, I lied during confession.

In the early ‘70s we moved up upstate New York to a small town called Chester. The Catholic Church there, wanting to be hip, started doing folk masses. I joined the choir and I played guitar with them. We sang songs like “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”. I actually enjoyed going to church.

When I went to college in ’73, I went to a small town in Vermont and I went to the Catholic Church there. It was old-fashioned and boring. I decided I’d rather go out and party on Saturday nights and sleep in on Sunday mornings. That started my life as a wild child. I was a party girl. I’m really surprised I survived college.

First let me mention that my dad was a recovering alcoholic. He had stopped drinking, then met my mom and got married and had me. I have a very high tolerance for alcohol. Now, at that time, the drinking age in Vermont was 21 but in New York it was 18. My school was a half a mile from the New York border. Two very smart entrepreneurs opened bars just over the New York border on either side of my school. I could drink anybody under the table.

My college was an all-girls school and to go find guys we had to drive anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to another school. One of my favorite schools was RPI, in Troy, NY. It was an hour and a half drive. In my sophomore year, my dad gave me a car. Because I had a car, I was very popular and I would chauffeur many gals to the various frat parties at the other schools.

Back then we usually passed around a bottle of wine on the way down, partied hardy, drank a lot of beer at the frat parties and then I drove back from Troy — an hour and a half. And it wasn’t a straight-line highway. The roads were country roads and we had to take this road and then take that road and then take that road, before I got to school. Miraculously, I would wake up safe and sound in my dorm room, on my bed, not remembering the drive —but we made it back! I was there for four years, so imagine how many frat parties we attended.

After college, my mom inherited the house she grew up in in Puerto Rico and we move back there.

Living in Puerto Rico, I continued my wild-child lifestyle. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I was searching for something — trying to fill a hole in my heart and as it turned out I was looking for Jesus. However, I didn’t know it yet….

The Rest of the Story….

While you’re there, check out my Historical Romance Novel, Deo Volente!

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1 thought on “From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College”

  1. Pingback: Malachi 1: How do you Worship God? With the Heart of a Hypocrite?

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