Student Nomination Story

Mr. Budzien I was raised Catholic and grew up in a religious family. It became an important part of my life, going to Sunday school at Saint Teresa of Calcutta after mass on Sundays (not fully understanding what was going on or what I was learning about). Sometimes I didn't enjoy going, especially when I got older. Being in high school with responsibilities and commitments, it can be hard to make time for a class on Sunday nights from 6:30 to 8:00pm. I used to dread going to Catechism. It was during my last year, the year I would get confirmed, when everything changed. There was a new teacher named Mr. Budzien, but we called Mr. Bud. He was an energetic guy which gave me hope I would enjoy class a little more. He wouldn't be the teacher to stand in one spot the whole class and lecture us. Mr. Bud wanted to teach us. He would pace back and forth all class using gestures and enthusiasm. This would get my attention and I would enjoy learning and going to class. Mr. Bud inspired me. It was astonishing how passionate he was for his faith—and how he wanted the same for us. He made the class about us. He allowed us to ask any questions we felt necessary. We were in a safe environment where nobody judged a question because we all were wondering the same things. What is purgatory? I remember fantasizing about the life we have after death, and how we get there. It would keep me up at night while I spent time searching the internet for answers. Believe it or not, the next day, that is what the topic was about. He explained purgatory in a way I will never be able to explain to anyone else. I would have Catechism on Sunday nights for about two hours every other week. I wish it could have occurred more. Mr. Bud began to send emails to our class on articles about our faith, proof to back up his teachings. He not only cared about our life as a Catholic, but how to become better people. I was so inspired by him. I looked into the priesthood. I've thought about things like this before and devoting myself to my religion, but I never thought it would come to that point. Outside of Church, I began to pray more and pay attention to my surroundings. Mr. Bud challenged us to read a section out of the Bible each night. This helped me become more faithful in the sense that I was doing it because I was eager to. Mr. Bud helped me become more faithful and more devoted Catholic. Through his passion for teaching us, he showed me the difference it can make in my life. I am forever grateful for the impact he has had on my life.

Sam Gomon

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