Beyond fear and doubt (Lenten Appeal Letter)

Meet Will Mullen. Will’s a medical humanities and biochemistry student hoping to attend medical school after graduation. Will shares how the Catholic Center introduced him to friends and formation valuable to his journey in his Lenten Appeal letter.

Dear friend in Christ,

I arrived at Baylor, and I remember being overwhelmed with fear. I remember feeling desperate to find friends.

I’d come from a Catholic high school where I’d experienced God’s love in an extraordinary way. I felt called. I had a mission to share my faith. The summer before coming to Baylor I prayed daily for the strength to bear witness.

But there I was at Baylor, frozen. I quickly realized I had no clue how to make new friends. I’d been attending school with the same friends since I was in the fifth grade. This is when I became more involved at St. Peter Catholic Student Center. I’d taken for granted how essential faith is to friendship (something I knew in high school), so getting involved at the center helped me to build friendships on that bedrock of faith.

Will attending SEEK 2019. Photo by Clarissa Pompa.

At St. Peter’s I found my brothers and sisters in Christ that had felt the same call as I did. The only difference is they knew how to live out their baptismal vocation. I thought the bare minimum was what it took to be a great Catholic. As long as I went to Sunday Mass and prayed for five minutes before bed that my faith would flourish. My friends at St. Peter’s quickly showed me that the path to sainthood requires great sacrifice. They were able to find time in their busy schedules to make it to daily Mass and to pray a holy hour. This baffled me. I thought being a good person and keeping my nose in my books was enough. They showed me the necessity of a strong interior life that can only grow through prayer and sacrifice.

Through my growth and focus on my interior life, I again began to feel called to evangelize. I wanted others to know God’s love. I was growing but still an apostolic novice, thinking that if I acted like a good person then it would bring others to Christ, a kind of “If you build it, they will come” approach to evangelization.

I realized after a while that anyone can act like a good person, but it takes effective communication and knowledge of the faith to evangelize, too. This scared me. I was still developing those skills and had a lot to learn.

I realized that I was being tested, and God was calling me out of a life of comfort and into a life of adventure with him. I prayed for trust and found it easier and easier to start conversations with non-Catholic friends of mine.

I started a Bible study with other Christians in order to create an intentional space for discussion. St. Peter’s has given me the confidence and resources to call these men deeper and to propose to them the truths of the Catholic Church.

St. Peter’s has been a place where I’ve also come to understand the great gift of the sacraments. I’ve never been in another Catholic community where there’s such a focus on the necessity of these spiritual gifts from the Lord. This is evident by how many Mass and confession times are available.

Both Father Daniel and Father Robert are devout servants of God who make sacrifices in order to provide students with the incredible gift of the sacraments. They’ve shown me what it truly means to serve with merciful love and courage.

Inspired by the example of my faithful friends and Fathers Daniel and Robert, I’ll be attending medical school after I graduate next spring with a degree in medical humanities and minor in biochemistry.

For now I’m focusing on Lent. Lent is a great opportunity to step out of our comfortable lives and enter into the great sacrifice of Christ. In Colossians 1:24 St. Paul says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” We’re called to participate in the sufferings of Jesus and must remember that we’re not called to be comfortable; we’re called to be faithful.

I know the depth of my experience comes from benefactors like you who provide the resources the center needs to accompany students like myself through those places of fear and doubt. Your gift of $1,000, $500, or $250 helps with Bible studies, retreats, life-changing conferences like SEEK, and more!

Thank you for your support!

In Christ,

Will Mullen, Class of ‘20

P.S. – We look forward to seeing you at our Garden Party in Waco on May 4, 2019!

Support students like Will online here.

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