Thank you so much to Skeptitcher Rebbe for his candid interview last week. Thanks so much for sharing with us!Today we have a new interview so please welcome Judy Dudich. Judy is Catholic and I know you will enjoy her interview as well.
Here Is Judy Dudich's Introduction:
Judy Dudich resides in the quiet woods of South Central, Pennsylvania. She’s mom of 10 , Grammy to 3, and wife to her best friend, Tom. Judy enjoys learning along-side 8 of her children who are still at home each day.
With 24 acres of forests, creeks, and fields, her yard provides the perfect “outdoor Science classroom” for her homeschooling lifestyle!
Judy blogs at http://benmakesten.blogspot.com/
She Tweets as: benmakesten and she has a personal Facebook page, as well as a business page for her website: Homeschool Faith and Family Life
1) What religion do you practice?
I am Catholic.
2) Are you a convert/revert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I suppose I am what many would call a "cradle-Catholic"; meaning, I was raised in the Faith from birth. However, as I came of age in wisdom and understanding, I took it upon myself to research many other faiths and denominations so as to "make sure" that I embraced the Catholic Faith by my own convictions; and not just those that were passed on to me in my youth.
3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance?
This is an interesting question. On one hand, I would say that "no" there are not varying degrees of observance if one is being "true to the Faith and Teachings of the Church"; although "participation" in the "life of the Church" if you will is part of a personal journey that is embraced and exemplified in varying degrees throughout one's life. On the other hand, terms such as "conservative", "moderate", and "liberal" have been attributed to people of Faith to relate to aspects of their spirituality which involve whether or not they accept and follow ALL of the Teachings of the Church, what their political preferences and practices are, and how much and to what degree they celebrate and share the Faith in their family and community life.
4)Within your religion what degree of observance are you ((ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal) ? Why did you choose this degree of observance?
According to how I described this in the question before this one, I would say that I embrace the Catholic Faith and ALL of Its Teachings in the fullness of which It is intended. By "modern standards and categorical thought" I imagine that most would describe me as " conservative" although I do not like that term, for as I expressed above, there is only "The Catholic Faith" and one either accepts it and embraces it or one doesn't...In other words, a person can't be "just a little bit Catholic".
5)What is the Afterlife within your religion? For example: what happens when a person dies? Are there places for reward/punishment? (such as a Heaven/Hell concept)
As a Catholic, I believe in 4 "last things" that will ultimately occur for every person/soul that has lived on earth. These are namely: physical death of the body, the final judgement,
hell, and heaven. I believe that due to the fall of man and the sin of Adam, all human beings are destined to undergo a bodily death. In the final judgement (which I believe in because Christ has promised it), the living and the dead (which will be resurrected) will undergo the judgement of Christ wherein God's infinite mercy and justice will prevail.
Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and have committed themselves to Him in acknowledgement of their own sins and in seeking Him as Redeemer, will pass on to eternal life in heaven (which is the fullness of communion with God) or... those who reject God's love and mercy and remain unrepented of their sins, will pass on to eternal damnation (which is the self-imposed punishment of their refusal of God's love and is the complete and vacuous life without God's presence)
6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
I think that the answer to this question is explained in # 5.
7) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
I do not believe that religion is supposed to be a "good fit" for someone as much as it is supposed to be means to end insomuch as it provides the pathway and the teachings to the fullness of an Absolute Truth. In that regard, then "yes", my religion is a "good fit" for me because I believe that the Catholic Church is the true church instituted by Christ and carried on through His Apostles until the present day, and that in the Teachings, traditions, and customs of the Catholic Church can be found the fullness of God's Truth and Revelation for ALL people.
8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
Oh! We have SO MANY beautiful and wonderful Liturgical feast days and holy days in the Catholic faith. I could write pages on the celebrations and recognitions of special people and days throughout the Church year. However, I will list the 6 most important holy days here:
1) Christmas Day, December 25, the Nativity: This day is to commemorate the birth of Christ! God, among us!
2. Soleminity of Mary, Mother of God, January 1, recognizing the significant and beautiful role that the young virgin Mary played in our Salvation, as Mother of Our Redeemer!
3. Ascension Thursday, 40 Days after Easter, remembering and celebrating that wondrous day when the Apostles saw Our Lord arise to return to the Father in heaven and to prepare a place for us!
4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, when we rejoice and celebrate Our Lady's entrance, body and soul into heaven to worship Her Son and enjoy eternal peace and Salvation!
5. The Immaculate Conception, December 8, celebrating the conception of Mary, Redeemed and prepared in a special way by Her Savior Son, in the womb of her mother, Ann, without stain of Original Sin so as to provide a pure and sacred vessel through which Jesus would be born.
6. All Saints Day, November 1, rejoicing and celebrating all of those who have gone before us in faith and have received entrance into the kingdom of heaven...The Church Victorious!
9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
The Lord said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself". All people are to be friends. It is my hope that I can extend a hand of friendship to every person I meet along this beautiful journey called "life". Some accept that invitation, others don't.
10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
We have joined in with people of other faiths for various celebrations on many occasions. For instance, we have taken part in learning about the Seder meal at Passover in an effort to undertand and embrace the Jewish roots of our Faith. We have also participated in many Ecumenical prayer services and celebrations with others from various faith backgrounds in our community. As long as a celebration or holy day does not stand in contradiction to our fundamental belief in One, True, Living and Triune God, then we are happy to lift up our hearts and minds in celebration with others.
11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
If, by this question, you mean, what do I think of these things in general...it is my belief that the greatest gift given to us by God is that of "free will" and therefore all peoples are free to believe as they wish in accordance with their faith...the Muslim people who adhere to the laws of Shariah and the wearing of the burqa are free to do so .
If, by this question, you mean do I think that there should be a law against Muslim women wearing the burqa in public, as France is preparing to enact this April, then I would say that I am not inclined to support laws which take away a person's religious freedom.
12) Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister, rabbi, iman etc) in your religion and how do you feel about it?
Women may hold many offices and minister in a variety of ways in the Catholic faith. Women may not, however, be ordained to the priesthood. Jesus was a man and His twelve Apostles, the first priests, were men. Moreover, the basis for the Church's Teaching on ordination derives from the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11: 1-16 and 1 Timothy 2:11-24, as well as 1 Corinthians 14:34-38) and the writings of the early Church Fathers. Pope John Paul II reiterated and confirmed these ideas when he wrote that, "Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).
There are so many wonderful ways that women can serve within the Church!
13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
If you are referring to "gender" segregation: On the matter of ordination to the priesthood, the Catholic faith is segregated in that only men may receive this Sacrament. I can think of no other instance within the Church where the genders are segregated.
If you are referring to "race" segregation, then "no", our places of worship do not segregate.
14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
My Catholic faith plays a crucial and pertinent part of all aspects of my life. It is an integral part of "who I am" and "who I am in relation to God", therefore it is always in my thoughts and always "present" to me in my daily life. As far as the issues you have mentioned such as, "abortion" and "gay" marriage, it affects my decisions greatly for I believe that the Bible is the Inspired and true Word of God and therefore I accept what God had to say and continues to say, through His Church, on these matters.
15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
As I have known many people who have entered into mixed marriages of faith; and have seen that in all of those marriages there have been added stresses and struggles (in addition to the common and expected ones in any marriage) I would hope that my children will be led to marry others who share their Faith. That being said, if our child were to chooe someone whom they felt God has led them to marry and that person were of another faith, we would fully support them in wedding, so long as it did not lead our son or daughter to sin (for instance, getting married outside the Church). We, in fact, DO have a son-in-law who is not Catholic and we love and accept him as a member of our family just as we do our daughter-in-law, who IS Catholic.
16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
I believe that Salvation comes through Jesus Christ.
I believe that the fullness of faith and belief in Christ on earth is found in the Catholic Church and that all Salvation comes through Him and His Church. However, the mercy of God is an infinite fountain of love and I know that Jesus will accept any and all who profess Him and accept Him as SAVIOR before death...this grace and blessing upon the world comes through the fullness of His Truth and presence in the Church.
17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
I believe that sadly, there are many in the public domain who profess to be Catholic and yet live and act in such a way that is directly contradictory to the Teachings of the Church. For instance, one can not be "Catholic" and vote in favor of "choice" and "abortion". One can not be "Catholic" and vote to change the definition of marriage as being ordained by God between one man and one woman. Colleges that claim to be "Catholic" and yet invite speakers who are openly in defiance of the Teachings of the Church are not praciticing their Faith.
18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
I have never been the target of a "hate" crime.
I have, however, endured persecution because of my Faith and lifestyle within that Faith. In addition to being Catholic, we are a homeschooling family with 10 children. Sadly, there are many in modern society who think that these aspects of our living gives them right to judge, mock, disregard, and verbally attack us.
19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
I have never felt "devalued" by my religion.
20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Christ gives me peace of mind and inasmuch as He is found in my religion, then my religion also gives me peace of mind.
21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No, I do not believe in reincarnation, if by that you mean the embodiment of a person as a new form after death.
I do not believe that a person, born in the image and likeness of God will be "reincarnated" and brought back to a life on earth in another form because Jesus taught that all persons will be "resurrected" body and soul to spend eternal life in heaven or hell.