"I was brought up by my family as a Catholic. As a child, I went to church on a Sunday, got involved in church activities and we would pray individually and as a family. I went to a Catholic primary and secondary school and as I grew older I became more involved helping out at the church connected to my school. However, the focus was not on the Bible, Jesus or the cross.
I came to really know Jesus Christ as an adult through a University friend, who read John's Gospel with me and went through studies from Christianity Explored. Although I believed in God before this, it was not until then that I fully understood what Jesus Christ had done for me on the cross. I realised that I needed to turn to God and repent and began to see what it truly meant to have a personal relationship with Him. I was excited by digging deeper into the Bible in a way I had never experienced before. I started to understand that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for me and that changed everything in my life – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2 v 8).
Looking back, I can see that there had been lots of unhelpful distractions and traditions as I’d grown up – such as praying to Mary and the saints. Catholic Mass took the focus off Christ and the one final and sufficient sacrifice He made for us personally as sinners. There had also a focus on the works you do to please God, instead of God’s grace being sufficient. I thank God that my relationship with Him does not depend on what I do - it rests on what Jesus has done for me."