Lumen Magazine_Winter 2020

says Melissa Hamilton ’09 , “but I didn’t realize how real that was ... it takes every bit of you and every bit of your emotions and time and commitment. It stretches you. It’s incredibly difficult to articulate the impact because it’s so profound.” Her husband, Ryan Hamilton, added, “I can be incredibly selfish ... but I’ve found that it’s coming quite naturally [to make sacrifices as a dad]. The juice is coming from somewhere – it’s the overflowing mercy of God. He didn’t give me these kids to break me ... he gave them to me to strengthen me. I am able to sacrifice and think of something more than myself and then apply that to other areas of my life.” “The universality of Catholicism is so important,” says Melissa. “What other institution spans every continent, every country, every culture. I can’t think of another one.” As they raise their young children during a particularly tumultuous time, not least of all with respect to U.S. race relations, they draw strength from their faith. “It’s the Church’s duty and responsibility to lead on [matters of race relations],” says Ryan. “The Church needs to be the voice of truth.” “I don’t want to be on any committees just sitting around talking about things or outsourcing [works of mercy],” Ryan says. “I want to be with a community that will go find a family in poverty and uplift them. Bring these people who are marginalized into the mainstream. When you’re ready to do that, come talk to me.”

The Hamilton family

their Catholicism, lead with their faith in terms of their worldview, and see where it takes us. I think that will be our role in making things better.” It’s something Ryan and Melissa want to impress upon his young children as they grow and consider their own identities. “I’m going to tell my kids they’re Catholic,” Ryan went on to say. “I’m going to teach them to lead with that.”

Ryan and Melissa have been trying to do their part as a family of faith that leads with truth. Ryan was featured on a Catholic podcast and in local and national newspapers this past summer, challenging people to live their faith daily, not just on Sunday: “If people are leading with their whiteness, and it just so happens [they are] Catholic, then that’s the problem,” he said in a June conversation with The Catholic Spirit. “I invite people to lead with

St. Thomas Lumen Winter 2020 Page 7

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