Dear Pope Francis,
Our names are Lauren and Meredith. We are twenty-something women. In many regards we are the outcome of a standard modern Canadian upbringing, with all of its joys and heartaches. We are university educated, and setting out on our own to find our place in this world. Sometimes this is a very exciting endeavour because the world is full of opportunities; other times it is a very daunting, even overwhelming task because the path is not always clear.
For Lauren the journey has involved a jump from small-town life on the East Coast to big city living in Southern Ontario. Now working on her Master of Divinity, she grapples with how theology and faith come together to inform and balance her experiences in the wider world.
Meredith went the other way. She started out in the suburbs of that nameless big city in Southern Ontario and moved down east for university four years ago. She wants very much to move closer to family, but doesn’t want to move back in with said family. Her biggest challenge over the last several years has been finding a balance between her beliefs as a Catholic and what she thinks as an independent lady.
We became friends in a somewhat unlikely way, having met at several different student conferences while working on our Bachelor’s degrees (Lauren in Religious Studies and Meredith in Journalism). We agreed to keep in touch at the end of each conference, and about four years later we still do (although we still don’t live in the same province).
Our unique experiences have drastically shaped how we understand both the world and our faith. It’s that understanding that we want to share with you, Pope Francis. You have been so welcoming of people, and so challenging in your interviews and writing. We want a chance to share our perspective. At World Youth Day you challenged us to put on faith, hope and love because these will change the way we live, and you wanted us to make a mess, to challenge the injustices in the world by going out and changing them.
Maybe you will never read these letters, but hopefully if you do, you will see two young women who have put on faith, hope and love, and most importantly of all: Christ, and are facing the realities of their world head on.
Since we’re publishing them on a blog, it’s expected a lot people who are not Pope Francis are going to eventually read them. We hope that by making them available, other young Catholics/Christians/People of Faith/Sentient Beings will be able to relate and understand better where we’re coming from on things.
Lauren & Meredith