by Steve and Jen Schraml
When Steve and Jen started dating, it seemed they had everything in common: a similar family upbringing, the same taste in music, a love for travel, hiking, and they both attended church regularly. Steve was a cradle Catholic, still attending the same parish into which he was born, while Jen, who grew up Protestant, was a part of a non-denominational church plant when they met. Their faith practices, while both Christian, were very different.
On their fifth date, while drinking a beer at a local pub, Jen finally broached the subject of faith. She looked across the table at Steve and asked “Do you believe in Jesus?” Steve stared back blankly, his jaw dropping to the floor. As a Catholic, he was unfamiliar and even uncomfortable with talking about Jesus. That night jump started their conversation about faith. When Steve’s parish announced the ChristLife series, they decided to sign up. Through the ChristLife series, Jen explored what the Catholic faith was really about, while Steve developed a more personal relationship with Christ.
Jen: “ChristLife demonstrated to me that behind the traditions and liturgy, the foundation of the Catholic faith is first and foremost about having a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. That is something with which I can identify! Steve and I have had so many challenging conversations about our faith, but we always return to our common ground in Jesus. I am so grateful to ChristLife for emphasizing that message, because it brought me and Steve together in our faith.”
Steve: “For as long as I can remember, I have gone to Mass weekly, prayed regularly, and
tried on and off to read the Bible. However, I always felt like something was missing from my faith life. I had heard of people having dramatic religious conversion experiences, but I didn’t think that applied to me since I was already a church ‘regular’. During the Discovering Christ retreat, I had an extraordinary experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit while the facilitators were praying over me. Since then, I feel alive in my faith and I look forward to sharing with others how knowing Jesus more personally has changed my life. ChristLife changed the direction of my relationship with Jen and brought us to where we are today.”