Couple: Journey into Catholic faith makes family life more complete
Becoming Catholic seemed a natural outcome for Paula Parizek, even from her youth.
But it took the help of her husband, Andy, and two children to prompt her to finally join the church four years ago.
"My children and my husband were my biggest influences for finally becoming Catholic," said Paula, a member of Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha.
"I also respect the traditions of the church.
"We always attended Mary Our Queen together, but once we had children, I felt left out watching them go up to receive Communion," said Paula, who was raised in the Methodist faith.
Growing up in Newman Grove, Neb., Paula often attended Mass with her best friend in high school, who was Catholic.
She was attracted to the Catholic Church because it was firm in its beliefs and traditional in its worship, she said. "And it seemed like I always had a lot of Catholic friends."
For years, she contemplated becoming Catholic, but waited until her son, now 12, and daughter, 16, were old enough to stay home alone so she and her husband, as her sponsor, could attend RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes together, Paula said.
"RCIA was really good and was very educational and fulfilling. It was time consuming but it helped bond our marriage," she said. "I value being able to practice our faith now as a family unit."
"We wanted to have the same faith as part of our family life. It helps maintain our focus on what’s important in life," Andy said.
"Now that Paula has converted, going to Mass or going through different phases of life, it just helps make things more complete," he said.