Nicole Selenka | Free to Discuss Catholic Christian Precepts

Nicole-SelenkaSenior English Teacher
St. Francis Xavier High School, Appleton
Teacher for one-half year

I'm what some people in the faith community might call a "Catholic revert": someone who was raised Catholic yet only as an adult begins to realize the joy of practicing the Catholic faith, the truth that fuels a Catholic worldview, and the gift of a Catholic education.

My journey to reclaiming my faith started years ago, in the small increments befitting these types of life-altering processes; I started reading my grandparents' old missals after their death, mostly as a way to feel closer to them. Intrigued, I started researching more about the Catholic heritage I'd forgotten and finally started attending weekly Mass again.

Strengthened Dedication

Working at Xavier has also strengthened my dedication to this experience; being part of a learning community that is dedicated to providing its students and staff with frequent opportunities to deepen and profess our faith has intensified my desire to explore the richness of Catholicism in ways I never could have planned for.

The academic freedom to discuss Catholic Christian precepts in the classroom is another reason I am truly blessed to be teaching literature at Xavier. Removing the Christian God from classic literature is like removing the spine of the book; it may still be readable, but there is nothing substantial or solid to hold it together.

The reason "the classics" are classic is because their authors spoke to something true and good and right in the heart of human nature; a quality so steadfast and earnest that it resonates with readers through the ages. This connection to the greater "man" and his experience on Earth is why reading and discussing literature is so rewarding, and I am grateful that I have a solid base in common with my students from which to approach this human legacy through literature in the Catholic classroom. I am privileged in this way, and I thank God every day for the opportunity.