Remember, you’re a witness

LISA JOHNSTON | lisajohnston@stlouisreview.com
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Julie Bostick, a member of Curé of Ars Parish, was away from the Church for some years, until she was brought back by a bumper sticker.

“It was a bumper sticker for Catholic Radio-WRYT (WRYT-AM 1080, part of Covenant Radio),” Bostick said. “When I saw that bumper sticker we were going to the Catholic church, but I was still floundering.” She and her family were living in the Belleville, Ill., Diocese, and had gone back to the Church after being away, in part because they were sending their sons to PSR and were told that came with a commitment to bring them to Mass. “I noticed the bumper sticker on a PSR teacher’s car.”

Bostick explained that she had grown up in a devout Catholic family in south St. Louis, but had grown away from the faith when she and her husband moved to the Bible Belt in Arkansas and people there challenged her beliefs. She explained that “there were a lot of blanks in my catechesis growing up. I didn’t have a clear understanding” of the Catholic faith.

She started to listen to Catholic radio and liked what she heard. Eventually she and her husband embraced the faith. She became the lay director of the Cursillo program in the Belleville Diocese, and she and her husband, Ralph, became involved in Marriage Encounter. The family recently moved back to the St. Louis Archdiocese, where she is an archdiocesan employee pursuing a master’s degree in pastoral studies through Ave Maria University.

“I went from not practicing my faith to all this. That is what the Holy Spirit can do in your life.”

The change comes with some expectations, she said. Once you come back to the Church “and are passionate about your faith, people expect a certain behavior from you. … Everyone is imperfect, even people who go to church. We are all on a journey to Christ. Sometimes we slip and fall, but we get back up. But if those slips and falls are public they can be damaging, not only to you, but to the whole Body of Christ.”

She mentioned realizing after a recent trip to the grocery store that she had wore her name tag as an employee of the St. Louis Archdiocese. “I thought, ‘I hope I didn’t cut in front of somebody or something, because I was representing the whole archdiocese with that name tag on.’”

Bostick said the number-one reason people leave the Church is lack of understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. “If you understand that Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are in the Eucharist, how could you leave?”

She urged people to turn their lives over to God. “I came to realize that when I allowed God to control my life, that is the true freedom.”

Listen to more of Julie’s story in a video interview online at: www.stlouisreview.com/bostick

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