The Diocese of Evansville Office of Catechesis is introducing readers to Catholics from across our 12 counties for whom sharing the beauty of the Catholic Faith is a joy.
This month, we meet Justin and Meagan Collins of Evansville.
How and where do you experience God?
We experience God within our family of four little ones, especially when we're out and about, letting the kids explore and play in nature. To us, getting out on a hike, exploring the woods, creeks and ponds is the best way for our family to disconnect from the world's distractions and get closer to one another, and to God. It's really special for us to see the kids marvel at all that God created.
Another way we experience God in our lives is through random acts of kindness. Whether it's a stranger doing something kind for us or an opportunity for us to do something kind for someone in need, we recognize this is God working through his people, and we also make it a point to use these as teaching moments for the kids.
Justin experiences God every morning with the sunrise! Taking time to check out the sunrise before he goes in to start his workday is usually just what he needs to slow down and get his day started in a positive way.
Why is your faith important to you?
Our faith is important to us because we know that everything we have, everything we have been given, is a gift from God. Knowing that God has gotten us to where we are today, with our marriage and our kids, we can only continue to grow together in our faith, thanking God for all the good times, and trusting that He will get us through the rough times.
How do you nurture your faith life, and how do you share your faith with others?
As a family, we nurture our faith by making it a priority to attend mass every Sunday. As a couple, we get involved in our church's ministries as a way to nurture and grow in our faith, while sharing it with others. We have both been involved in RCIA, each having sponsored a person coming into the church, and we find it a great way to share our faith, and we always manage to learn something new in the process. We also work as a sponsor couple for engaged couples preparing for marriage. This has been very rewarding for us, and a great way for us to grow closer in our own marriage and faith.
How does your Catholic faith shape the way you live?
Prayer is a big part of our daily lives. Justin and I try to stay in constant communication with God, keeping an open dialect with Him, asking for guidance and patience throughout the day, talking through our struggles with Him, and thanking Him for blessings along the way. God is always with us, even in unfortunate situations, we've come through to see the good, to see how things could have been worse, and thanking God for his unwavering presence in our lives.
Attending Mass on the weekends as a family is tough with four boys under the age of six, but now that our in-person church time has been so limited this year, I'm really missing the one hour we all spend together as a family, worshipping in the church. I've always loved our Sunday masses, as a way to reflect on the past week, pray upon the upcoming week, and visit with our church family. We can't wait for our whole church family to all be together again, under God's roof!
Justin, Meagan and their four boys, Louis, Beck, Oscar and Floyd, are members of All Saints Parish. The couple married in 2014, and Justin began RCIA later that year, officially joining the Catholic Church in 2015. While she wasn't his official sponsor, Meagan attended most of the RCIA classes with Justin. They both loved the experience so much that in the coming years, they went on to each sponsor an individual coming into the Church. They have also gone through training to become a sponsor couple for engaged couples, and this is one of their favorite ministries.