What Christian Faith Means to Me
Reflections inspired by a conversation with Catholic Conscience
I am a Christian. But I did not grow up in a religious home, nor was I taught about faith as a child. In fact, I didn’t regularly attend church until 2018. I was baptized at the age of 31 in a non-denominational Protestant church.
Like many others, I found God during a moment of crisis. For me, the crisis was stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. Before and after chemotherapy sessions, I prayed with all of my heart and came to know Jesus Christ. Moments of great pain during radiation treatment brought me to my knees, asking the Lord for mercy. A community of Christians in the Toronto area stood by me and my family, and showed us how to walk by faith.
It has undoubtedly been a challenging and fortifying last four years. Since my life was saved in 2019 and doctors declared me free from lymphoma, I have tried to apply what I learned about how people can overcome adversity. Some of the lessons are personal, other lessons are far bigger than myself.
In today’s political and media landscape, you don’t hear enough about religious freedom as a critical value for a healthy society. Ivory tower elites treat talking about God like it’s a politically incorrect taboo. But I must be clear: faith was critical to my survival, just as I needed quality hospitals, skilled doctors, and universal health care to get me through a fight for my life.
I recently had the opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith and community relationships with Catholic Conscience, a Catholic, non-partisan civic and political leadership and engagement organization based in Canada. We had a special conversation, which taught me about how my experiences as a Protestant are consistent with Catholic teachings on the value of local institutions, including churches. In particular, members of the Catholic Conscience team, Brendan Steven and Peter Copeland, shared with me the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. Pope Francis explains that the principle of subsidiarity “[respects] the autonomy and the capacity to take initiative that everyone has, especially the least” and “allows everyone to assume their own role in the healing and destiny of society.”
I think you’ll enjoy our conversation. Let me know what you think: