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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

I grew up Catholic, however, my family didn’t go to church every Sunday. I did go to religion classes and made the sacraments, but I didn’t truly understand my faith. I made the switch from public school to a private Catholic high school, and this is where my connection with God and my faith ultimately changed. I became way more active in the church, connected with many religious people who I learned from, and even became a Eucharistic Minister. In the past few months at college, I attend mass weekly and have continued to be a Eucharistic Minister here.

Now, at a Catholic college, I feel that getting involved in faith-based activities is very accessible, if you wish to do so. It is so common to go to mass, and I’ve met lots of great people through it. However, I have seen how people usually stereotype the type of people that go to church into a category that gets outcasted in certain ways. I feel that you can still find a healthy combination between being a weekly church goer and exploring your faith, while still allowing yourself to go out and have fun. People like to generalize and judge those who are dedicated to their faith, while it is something truly admirable.

Even when talking to friends at Holy Cross, many of them have had similar experiences and reactions from people when they said they were going to “Holy Cross”. People assume that since it is a Catholic college, with such an obvious name, that the faith is forced upon you and that it impacts the way you learn and who you are. While yes, it can definitely impact you, that is if you chose to engage with it. I have felt lots of support as an incoming freshman in a new place from the church community and Chaplin’s office here, and I am so grateful for it. Yet, I haven’t felt that religion has been forced on me at all.

In our world today, being religious and proud has a stigma around it. People may go to church and not really talk about it, while others won’t even go because they feel like it isn’t “cool” or “normal” to do. Many people aren’t exposed to church, or at least do not fully experience it, unless they were immersed in it from Catholic school or a religious home life. No matter what faith you identify with or that interests you, people should feel comfortable to embrace it and be proud of it, and respect those who practice differently than them.

Ashley Bunici

Holy Cross '26

Ashley Bunici is from Long Island, New York and is a Political Science Major and Disability Studies Minor, on the pre-law track. She loves to volunteer and be involved in clubs, spend time with friends and family, and travel.