Sharing our faith as a family

By Raegan Wagner

Catechetical Sunday reflection

Hi, I am Raegan Wagner; I am 11 years old and in sixth grade. I have been going to church ever since I was born. Participating in Mass, family religion and youth group is a big part of my life.

Our family has experienced many opportunities to share our faith with others. One of the most recent places we started visiting is the Ozanam Homeless Shelter. My mom, dad, sister, brother and I go once a month with our All Saints Parish family, and we have been since November of last year. Sometimes we bring our friends from school, and this summer we even brought our cousins from Colorado. No matter who’s there we always have a blast.

What I have learned about the Ozanam Homeless Shelter is it’s not only for women, not just for kids, not just for men, but for whole families. There aren’t many shelters like Ozanam.

Everyone there is like one big family. You look to your right and there’s a 4-year-old rocking a baby that isn’t even related to her. You look to your left and there are two best friends playing together. All these relationships would have probably never happened if it weren’t for the shelter.

One day one of my youth group leaders gave every kid in our youth group $50 to do something nice for someone. My sister and I were having a hard time figuring out something to do until we went to Ozanam. There was a single mother there with 4 children; all of them were very young. She was $100 shy from getting her own apartment. When I heard this, I immediately asked my mom if my sister and I could give her our $50. My mom said yes and she worked with the staff to help make that happen. We also decided to give her the $50 my dad had to spend. Not only did she get her apartment, but she got an extra $50 to start herself a better life. We went through our rooms at home and gave her 3 twin bed covers and sheets because my sister and I had just gotten new covers, and we gave her a mattress.

It feels good to do something kind for somebody. When my family and I come to Ozanam, all the kids run out to see what games we are going to play. The last time we were there we had a back-to-school bash with a kickball game, ice cream, and school supplies. Every time we go there we meet someone new.

And others are there month after month, and we develop relationships with them. Sometimes we even invite them to church, and they come! It’s interesting to see how many people are there each time; it is like one giant family living under one roof. It makes me thankful for all the gifts God has given to all of us; we just have to see them.

Raegan Wagner and her family are members of All Saints Parish in Evansville.