I was born in the ghettoes of Chicago’s South Side in 1961. My first memories are of dilapidated apartments, window frames without windows, trash strewn on the streets, urine-soaked alleys, and a neglected-derived independence. As a three-, four-, and five-year-old, I remember many times coming and going from the apartment my mother, siblings and I shared while my mother, an active alcoholic at that time, had friends over from morning till night — days filled with card games, cigarette smoke and all the beer and vodka they could want. When I was about seven years old, my father, whom I had only met once, came to the apartment announcing that my six siblings and I were going with him. It was the last time I would see my mother for years. Much later, my father told us my mother told him she was moving and leaving us at the apartment, and warned him that if he didn’t come get us, we would be abandoned.
I often thank God that I was born into a Christian family. My parents and grandparents lived a great example as I was growing up. They first took me to church when I was one week old, and we continued to attend two or three times per week. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about Jesus and, when I was 9 years old, I asked to be baptized.
“Then you will know that I, the Lord your God dwell in Zion, my holy hill.” (Joel 3:17a, NIV)
I was born in 1971 in Sosnowiec, an industrial mining city in southern Poland, and raised as a devout Catholic. These were harsh times; communism had reared its ugly head, stigmatizing and criticizing the beliefs of those whose faith was precious to them.
A “Convoluted” Pathway Home by Peter Doane Someone once pointed out to me that when one commits one’s life to the Lord this journey seems to become “convoluted.” I would tend to agree. My journey back to the Catholic Church is one full of joy and pain, saints and sinners, angels and demons, and finally, […]
Solid Foundations by Chad Torgerson I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and was raised in the Lutheran faith. My parents were not the most spiritual of people, but they wanted to make sure that my siblings and I were “exposed” to faith. Basically, the concept was to introduce us to Christianity but allow […]