It is not easy being a Catholic in this day and age. It is a conscious, defiant decision to stay and practice this faith. A decision I explain over and over to family and friends alarmed by the scandals in the church. I am alarmed, yes, heartbroken that Catholic institutions have been a place of abuse, of complicity, of criminality. But nothing will change if I leave. If I stay, as a Catholic laywoman, I can practice what I believe and be an agent of change.