Erin Jamieson

A year that opened my eyes in faith

By  Erin Jamieson, Youth Speak News
  • July 3, 2015

A year can pass quickly. As I enter the final months of my one-year term as a Youth Speak News correspondent for The Catholic Register, I am astounded to think that’s it’s been almost a year since I sent off my application to be a part of the 2014-15 YSN team. The journey has seen me grow in faith, writing ability and awareness of both the local and global nature of the Catholic community.

Part of my journey has been grappling with the unexpected difficulties of journalistic writing. In a world where anyone can — and does — comment on anything from the safe anonymity of the online world, I have found that journalism requires a more public sharing of my own ideas. It’s a commitment that requires courage.

I have always been very comfortable living my faith. I grew up attending church every Sunday with my family and I’ve volunteered within my parish community. Sharing my faith with a national community has required a different kind of faith expression. It has been a surrender of myself to a large audience. It has not always been easy, but the results have been undeniably rewarding.

By writing, I have opened myself up to engaging with a larger Catholic community. It has both broadened and localized my understanding of the Catholic Church. I have witnessed how people living their faith locally contribute to the mission of the Universal Church.

Headlines in secular media love to talk about Pope Francis, but there are also many Catholics out there that inspire and deserve a spotlight.

In my interaction with other journalists, my editor and others in the Catholic community, I’ve learned about many things — movies, mission trips, the dedicated, faithful people who live in my own community.

It has a given the Universal Church very local faces and voices as I watch how each person living their faith contributes to the strength of the global faith community. I know the importance of Catholic media in bringing these stories of local faith to the global community.

This continually engaged community has opened my eyes to the ongoing importance of print media. Coming from a generation that loves a 140-character tweet, it’s important to know that there is still value in a carefully crafted sentence and that the value of a well-researched piece is still understood.

Every time I see a copy of the Register on someone’s coffee table, or I see a conversation about one of the articles on Facebook or Twitter, I am reminded of the importance of Catholic media in all its forms in spreading the word — and the work — of the faithful.

So as my year comes to a close, I find myself thinking of a “New Year’s resolution” as I continue to grow in faith. I invite you all, especially my fellow YSN writers, to resolve with me to continue to share our passion, compassion and faith with the world as Christ called us to do in whatever medium. If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that words are powerful and that people are ready to share it when given the opportunity. A year can pass quickly. Spend it well and in faith.

(Jamieson, 19, is a second-year knowledge integration student at the University of Waterloo.)

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