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 Karen Schwenk of St. Mary Parish, Ireland
How and where do you experience God?
Through kid – teaching religion to young teens. I always know God is with me and guiding me. I also know (that) just waking up in the morning and living my life is experiencing God every day. I’m blessed every day just knowing God is with me in everything I do – teaching kids to be nice, repectful and kind, and (to) love each day. I think God has given me all the grace to teach and show others where God is in their lives.
Why is your faith important to you?
In the past 25 years, faith has gotten me through a lot of tough times. Faith is trusting (that) God has your back in the good and bad times. Faith is something you don’t see; you just know that God has a part in everything. Everything will be OK. But I also think you’ve got to believe in God first.
How do you nurture your faith life?
By trying my best to live to please God; (to) live the best life God sees for you. It’s a good way to start; ask yourself what would please God each day. Always find something you were blessed with each day, or that you saw God being a part of that day.
How does your Catholic faith shape the way you live?
By teaching people the way God would want any of his children to lead their life. I believe if we live to please God, our faith will grow and shape the way we live each day God gives us. The grace God gives us also shapes our faith life. I try to live by faith in God. Sometimes I say to myself, “if it was meant to happen, it will happen; if not, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” The faith we have in God will lead us.
How do you share your faith with others?
Reading a devotional every day and trying to share it with others throughout the day. Also by telling people each day to have a blessed day instead of a good day. I know my faith in God leads me to know I’m blessed each day by God; just to wake up. And having a family and friends – my kids and a husband that I can love, and of course my health to make it through another day. It’s called having faith – and the more we spread our faith with others … God sees everything we do.
So from me to you: Have a Blessed Day!
Karen Schwenk teaches religion at St. Mary Parish in Ireland. She also serves as a lector for Masses. She participates in the Crave Bible Study Group and volunteers for the parish’s vacation bible school. She also has participated in a Christ Renews His Parish retreat.