I, officially, stopped being “Catholic” at 24. At the time, I watched a film about atrocities the Catholic church had commited (that didn’t have anything to do with priests). I guess, that’s when I became unaffiliated. I didn’t tell people I was a lapsed Catholic, I told them I had been raised Catholic and at that point, basically wasn’t religious at all and didn’t affiliate myself with any religion.
My sisters left Catholicism for Wicca in their youth. My aunt took up Buddhism and even my mother converted to Protestant Christianity. Dad, of course, is still staunchly Catholic…but those of you who have heard tales of my Dad, know that what he identifies himself as and what he does are two very divergent concepts.
And so now, I’m the family Jew. The Jew who works at a Catholic university, interestingly enough. Could I have worked here when I was Catholic, lapsed or unaffiliated? Probably not. As a Catholic working in a Catholic school, I would have felt badly about not being Catholic enough and I would have either run to or run from the little cathedral a flight down from the tutoring center. Now, Judaism, with its Star of David, is the religion I currently wear around my neck, gone are the crucifixes of my childhood. When I pass the church downstairs, I feel nothing…neither torn away nor compelled back.