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Finding a Light in the Darkness

Meet Josh. Josh’s faith journey is a wonderful story of faith and reason coming together to prepare his soul to receive Jesus. Born and raised Lutheran, falling away and identifying as atheist in high school, Josh began a real journey of discovery here at UNO and through the students and mission of JPII Newman and the Abortion Dialogue Academy. Sensing a darkness in his atheistic views, feeling distant from friends and family, Josh felt a tug back to God and knew that was who he needed to turn to.

At first, he sought solace back in the Lutheran Church due to a series at a local church called “Comfort in Christ”. Concluding again that he is indeed a Christian, he was still firmly against the idea of joining the Catholic Church.

On campus at UNO, Josh encountered two UNO students who were representing the Abortion Dialogue Academy – they also happened to be community members at the JPII Newman. Josh was intrigued by the abortion argument and engaged with the pair, Erin Jones and Jet Parnoble. It was clear by the end of their discussion that Josh had not won the argument. And, he could no longer hold onto the belief that the pro-choice position was right.

“I’m wrong,” he thought and worried instantly about the people he had convinced earlier about the pro-choice position. He started attending meetings of Mavericks 4 Life, connecting with other students there, and getting more involved in the movement.

At a local pro-life event, he had “the moment”. God spoke directly in words that never, ever would’ve crossed his mind: “The Catholic Church is the one, true way.” He could no longer deny that God had a bigger plan.

Soon after, he was in a group on the way to the airport for a pro-life event and someone ask Josh what religion he was. He replied, “I am thinking about joining the Catholic Church.” Imagine the surprise of his new friends from JPII Newman. They encouraged him to attend RCIA at the Newman Center.

For months, he studied the Catholic faith with Father Andrews and the RCIA team. His original confirmation was to be at the Easter vigil, but with COVID it had to be delayed. He was disappointed but used it as an opportunity to continue to read and study. He read Scott Hahn’s The Supper of the Lamb and it helped him more fully understand the sacrifice of the Eucharist.

Josh loves the community and the chance to build meaningful relationships in college with other Newman students.

“I’m incredibly thankful. And, I am excited to discern His Will for me.”

So, through a series of challenging interactions, careful study and reason to seek TRUTH, and by hearing the voice of God, Josh came into full communion with the Church on May 30th. And we couldn’t be happier to have him in the JPII Newman family.

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