Mick Wopinski ’11 Struggles to Balance Catholicism and Schoolwork

Mick Wopinski ’11 keeps religion balanced with his other time commitments. “Sometimes when I don’t go to church, it’s because I have too much work,” he said. “If I have free time and I remember that I haven’t been to church in a while, then I’ll go. So it’s usually because I haven’t gone in a while, but even so, I won’t go if I don’t have time,” said Wopinski. In general, Wopinski finds that “it’s harder to take time out of your schedule to go to church, temple or other [religious centers].” Wopinski said that he understands students who hold religious beliefs but are unable to practice them, because he himself has experienced the difficulty of finding time to attend religious services. “For those who don’t [practice a religion], that’s fine too. It’s just part of their lives,” he said. In class, Wopinski frequently contributes his own religious ideas. “[Religion] often comes up in English because you can make parallels to the bible with some of the stuff we read,” he said. Wopinski said the topic has come up in both his English classes and “The New Testament Perspective,” a Religion and Philosophy course he took. “If people mention [that there is no god], especially in a classroom environment…it sort of annoys me,” he said. “I usually don’t say anything though, because sometimes it seems like the assumed view of some of the people in the class is that Atheism is right. I disagree with that, but I don’t really say anything.” “It’s not that I’m not comfortable saying something, it’s just not really worth it,” he continued. Wopinski feels that “some people [at Andover] seem sort of hostile toward religion… [The community] tends to be a consensus of people not believing in a religion, like Atheism. I’d say religious people are minorities here.” He believes that “the emphasis Andover puts on multiculturalism and tolerance doesn’t always carry over to religion. Students should be taught that many people have different beliefs.” Wopinski is a member of the Catholic Student Fellowship, an on-campus student religious organization. He said that the organization discusses “prevalent issues about our state and the community that have to do with Catholicism.” Wopinski said he does not think that all people at Andover take religion seriously, mostly because he feels that so many students are Atheist. “There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the way it is here,” he said.