Faith and Family Life

Dr. Mario Loomis, his wife Donna and their four children will be featured guests at the World Meeting of Families, an event sponsored by the Vatican to be held January 2009 in Mexico City. Last August, the Loomis family, of Goshen, N.Y., was named the Knights of Columbus International Family of the Year. They host a Catholic youth formation program in their home called A Drop of Clear Water. Fathers for Good spoke to the parents about their faith and family life.

Dr. Mario and Donna Loomis accept the Knights of Columbus Family of the Year award from Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, far right. From left are their children: Gabriel, 7; Joseph, 18; Teresa, 5, and Rebecca, 16.

 

 


Loomis Teens Tell Their Story

Joseph and Rebecca Loomis have embraced their Catholic faith and become witnesses to their peers. Joseph, 18, is a freshman at John Paul the Great University in San Diego and Rebecca, 16, is homeschooled. Fathers for Good asked them a few questions about staying Catholic in a youth culture that discourages such a commitment.

Fathers for Good: How did your parents teach and inspire you to embrace your Catholic faith?

Rebecca: Ever since childhood my parents have always helped me to understand my faith, and as a result I now know why we do what we do as Catholics, and have learned to love and embrace my faith on my own. Things such as taking me to Catholic retreats such as Youth 2000 and involving me in our youth group, “A Drop of Clear Water,” are some of the many ways that my parents have set my heart on fire for love of God and my religion.

Joseph: My parents have always taught me in the ways of the Catholic faith. It wasn’t forced upon me and I was allowed to explore it myself. They simply directed me on the right path and I quickly found the Truth. My parents helped me fortify my grasp on the teachings of the Church and I feel I am now permanently grounded in it.

FFG: What faith-related projects are you engaged in?

Rebecca: So far my projects of evangelization have been quite amateur because of my lack of “how to” knowledge, but one of these projects can be found on YouTube. It is a short music video remake of Stacie Orrico's song “More To Life,” made by me and two of my close friends. I have also helped edit the website for A Drop of Clear Water a youth group run by my family. Currently I am working on a documentary about abortion, with the help of my dad and a close friend. It should be about 30-45 minutes long, and will hopefully reach out to young women in crisis pregnancy situations, and let them know that they are not alone and that there are better alternatives than abortion.

Joseph: About a year ago I produced a promotional video for the New York Cathedral Prep [priest preparation] program, which you can find at www.cathedralprep.com. I am now planning a sort of “Call to Action” inspirational short film that will address all Catholics, calling them to join the very real spiritual battle of today’s world. As for the future, I will do whatever God asks me to do. That always goes well.

FFG: What are the challenges teens face today in terms of accepting and following the Catholic faith? Media...culture...peers?

Rebecca: One of the most challenging obstacles for teens trying to live and embrace their faith is peer pressure, and the fear of a bad reputation. Upon hearing what we as Catholics believe, a non-Catholic may think us strange. Many teens are afraid of receiving such a title and losing their friends because of it. However, if a friend will drop you simply because they don’t understand why you believe what you believe, then is that person really your friend, or a friend worth keeping?

Joseph: It is very challenging for teens to find Christ and his Truth in today’s society. They are heavily bombarded with false promises of happiness, and many lose hope because of this. When it comes to Christ and the Church, many already have it instilled in them that religion is an illusion and just a game of “make-believe.” It is not easy for an adolescent to find Christ on his own, which is why we must fight to reach them and show them the Truth.

FFG: What advice would you give a teen on overcoming obstacles and staying close to Christ?

Rebecca: Prayer is the key. I have found in my experiences that if I pray, even when I really don’t want to, everything turns out ok in the end. If you are having trouble staying close to God, it may be because you are not praying enough. God is our friend, and the more you talk to and get together with your friends, the closer you will become.

Joseph: I would advise them to make like-minded friends, to pray, and receive the sacraments. I am finding it much easier to avoid sin now that I am going to Mass at least every other day.