Five minutes with: Nathan Piper
Nathan Piper Age: 25 St Anthony’s Church, Wanniassa
Tell us about your family life.
I am single. Single life means having fun, in moderation. Not falling into the trap of kicking back and cruising through life. It is a gift, a huge time of opportunity and to take responsibility in growing in your faith. Seeing the freedom that is given to you as a privilege and taking advantage of it.
Do you work or study?
I’ve been working for seven years full-time as a wall and a floor tiler. I enjoy it. Every so often there are patches where I would rather be elsewhere but that comes with any occupation. Bringing my faith into my work and sanctifying each task and challenge gives everything I do a purpose beyond earning a wage.
Tell us about your Catholic upbringing.
Mum and Dad both have a solid faith and taught my siblings and I the faith well at home. Never putting the Lord second. Although at some point as a young boy I had a strong disinterest in Mass and my faith in general. That continued through high school and the start of my apprenticeship until 2016 when I had a reconversion.
Did you go to a Catholic school?
Yes, primary and secondary. I never enjoyed going to school until years 11 and 12. It was a safe environment and centred around prayer. I don’t think students are challenged enough with their faith. My peers disregard their faith entirely, argue against it and ask “What’s the point?”
Why are you a Catholic? And what does that mean to you?
There is no right or wrong answer. I am a Catholic because the Lord has revealed himself to me. Being Catholic gives my life complete purpose and fulfils everything. For me, it means putting the Lord first before anything. Constantly being in dialogue with him through the day and bringing friends and family closer to him by your witness. It’s the most important thing in your life so never leave your faith at home on the shelf.
How do you live out your faith each day?
I try to attend Mass daily and live it out with naturalness. Always being sincere and loyal. And acting in a way around friends and colleagues that makes it a totally normal thing. There is nothing to be ashamed about. It can be a struggle or challenge at times, sometimes you make it so yourself. You may have to make several sacrifices to put your faith first.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the Church?
There are many. One I notice is the task of evangelisation in countries and cultures which are overly comfortable. They see no reason to hear or know our Lord.
Have you been challenged about your faith?
Working in construction I’ve heard every insult in the book plus more. I have learned to stand my ground and eventually others come to respect you and your faith. I learned fast that you can’t be a Catholic and coward at the same time. In terms of how the media portrays the church, prove the media wrong by your example, research and know the truth to defend the church.
What are your interests?
I have always played and enjoyed soccer. Any activity to keep fit. A casual game of golf, any type of interesting documentary, war films, having a beer, meal and chat with mates, days at the beach, Italian cuisine and of course Mum’s cooking.
When and where are you happiest?
At Mass. And in the company of good friends.
Finally, is there a motto you live by?
Not really, but there is a quote referring to our Lord that I remind myself of in times of discouragement to persevere. From St Josemaria in his book ‘The Way’: “And what is the secret of perseverance? Love. Fall in Love, and you will not leave him.”