I was baptized Catholic in an Irish Catholic family. My mother and father divorced when I was five after my father tried to shove my mother through a crack in the wall. (he was an alcoholic)
My mother married in the church four years later and a year after that I started parochrial school (it was non-denominational christian not catholic)
At 17 I was confirmed in the Catholic church although I had reservations (my education flew in the face of my upbringing).
At 18 however I went on a missionary trip to Europe as Christian. God showed me three things in Europe.
1. I was wasting my time as a missionary, I was meant to be in the military.
2. What penises were for (although I'd remain a virgin for another two years).
3. And that ALL Catholics are Christians but not all Christians are Catholics.
After I returned to the states I started going to mass again and joined the United States Marine Corps.
In Dec 1991 I did an interservice transferto the US Army and I got married to a Christian and stopped going to mass.
In May 1992 my daughter was born (do the math ....!).
In 1994 I got divoriced, my second child died, my dad died, and I was in two car wrecks.
I stopped going to church altogether.
In 1995 I started dating an exotic dancer who was a pagan.
In 1996 I went crazy (Bipolar Hypermanic-NOS with OCD and sociopathic symptomology ontop of PTSD) my fiance' (the dancer) left me.
In 1998 after a protracted battle I was forced onto the Temporary Duty Retired List.
In 2000 after numerous hospitalizations I was forced into medical retirement.
In May 2001 I mysteriously had a stroke while driving home from a late night RP session. I drove three more miles to a phone.
I wasn't able to move, poop, or talk. I'm 80% recovered in 2004. Something weird happened though as I lay in the hospital.
I was visited by friends and family but -- this the kicker -- God's presence kept me from freaking the hell out.
Lisa Simpson once was quoted quoting someone else who said "Prayer is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
Ask those who know me as Teech, I'm a scoundrel ... but I pray.