With a name like Victoria Natale, it is easy to guess my Italian heritage. Walking into my house, one is bombarded with many smells and sounds. Whether it be my grandmother’s freshly cooked pasta sauce, or my mother yelling from the basement to the main floor there always seems to be some sort of commotion around. However, while some may be overwhelmed by the constant stimulation, I view it as another day in the life of an Italian family member. My childhood memories are filled with large family gatherings, loud parties, and pretending to remember every “great-aunt-once-removed’s” name. Looking and listening to my family, it seems like we fit almost every Italian family stereotype under the sun: loud, good cooks, ...
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...ng in open religious discussions with my aunt and grandmother, my family’s religious family tree was a mystery to me. I now see my grandmother’s extreme loyalty not as an ancient practice from years ago, but an excellent example of what it truly means to be Catholic. At this point, I feel a stronger connection to my religion, and hope to change my impact on the religious landscape in America. I would like to be more like my grandmother and become a positive force for those with the courage to openly practice religion. I also hope to make changes to my own religious practices. No longer will I only attend Mass on holidays just to make my grandmother happy. Being a source of stress relief, I believe religion can positively impact one’s life. It is important to not view religion as an extra thing to do during the week, but a time for reflection, essential to one’s life.
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