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Foley Feature: A Student's Journey in Faith

Erin Sandelin-Stitt’s educational journey in the Catholic school system is unique. After the fifth grade, she decided to transfer to St. Mary’s Catholic School in Royal Oak, because of an unpleasant experience in public school. “They (St. Mary’s) took initiative. I love the Catholic community and it is a family,” explained Sandelin-Stitt. She further stated that the Catholic school system has been nothing but positive and inspirational.
Growing up as a Christian, her family typically attended church twice a year. Since she has been enrolled in Catholic schools, she has found that this has given her a strong Catholic identity and strengthened her faith. Sandelin-Stitt stated, “I always felt Catholic in my heart.” Now, a senior at Bishop Foley Catholic (BFC) High School, she is making an important decision about her faith that will last a lifetime. Earlier in the school year she decided to start the process of becoming Catholic and complete the RCIA program. Her theology teacher, Ken Pullis explains, “I have had the pleasure of teaching Erin for several years. I have noticed that she is much more outspoken about her faith and even proud to be embracing the Catholic faith. It seems like this was the most natural decision for Erin as she has been immersed in a Catholic environment here at Foley since her freshman year.”
Sandelin-Stitt’s journey to the Catholic Church has been filled with many rich experiences. When Erin made the decision to be baptized, Fr. Gerry LeBoeuf invited her into the RCIA process through Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson. The formation that Erin has received through the RCIA at Guardian Angels and her theology classes at BFC has opened her eyes to God's great love for her as well as the treasures of the Catholic Faith. Another treasure that Erin has found is her friend Jessica Rusin, a junior at BFC. When it came to selecting a sponsor, the choice was easy for Erin. She mentioned that Rusin was one of the first people to come to mind: “We are best buds, attend choir together, and I figured why not?” replied Sandelin-Stitt.
On Holy Saturday, Sandelin-Stitt will be baptized and confirmed by Father Gerry LeBoeuf at Guardian Angels Church in Clawson. Pullis stated, “I am very happy that Bishop Foley Catholic has helped to make it possible for Erin to hear Jesus' invitation to "Come, follow me." I cannot help but think that so many hours praying in class and during weekly Mass, along with daily Theology classes, have prepared her soul to receive the seed of the Catholic faith. It has been growing slowly and it will finally blossom at the Easter Vigil. What a joy to have Erin born anew in Christ as we celebrate Jesus' triumph over the grave this Easter!” Once baptized and confirmed, she plans to continue spreading the good word about the Catholic faith. 

The mission of Bishop Foley Catholic is to provide a Christ-centered, co-educational community that accompanies students on their individual academic journey. Sandelin-Stitt’s story is a true testament of what a Catholic education can achieve. Her positive experience at both St. Mary’s Catholic School and Bishop Foley Catholic High School, has made a profound impact that ultimately strengthened her relationship with Jesus.
Source: Jessica Knapik