MUNTINLUPA City, April 20, 2016 – Like many in the showbiz world, Christine Jacob experimented with religion.
“It was a very, very tough time in my life,” she noted, describing the days she was on noontime TV almost daily.
Though a cradle Catholic herself, the Olympian swimmer and show host would join Born-Again fellowships with her celebrity friends in her desire to have what she called a “personal relationship with Jesus.”
She thought this could also help her become immune from the bad influences the entertainment industry is notorious for.
“For a while, I didn’t know where, how I was going. And that was when I got into Born Again. That, at least, at that point, helped keep me grounded,” she explained.
Ironically, after years of “soul searching,” she would find what she was looking for in the faith of her youth.
“And from there I was just praying for somebody to just come into my life, you know? … And then I met my husband who’s Opus Dei,” she continued.
Back to Rome
It was thanks to Mr. Francisco Sandejas that Christine was able to make the “return trip” to Rome.
But her “reversion” was not without initial reservation on her part.
“We would always debate, trying to see who’s the best, trying to convert each other or something like that,” she explained, smiling.
“He taught me how to relearn the Catholic faith over again,” she added.
Also thanks to her husband, Christine got exposed to the pro-life cause, becoming one of the country’s better-known defenders of family and life.
According to her, since becoming a “Catholic Again,” and a wife and mother to boot, she sees to it that everything they believe, say, and do is in keeping with the Catholic faith.
“So with my kids I always make sure it’s really an important part of their life. More than anything, it’s more of a relationship they need to have,” she stressed.
Christine pointed out that the job of any parent, and of mothers in particular, is easier if they know their children have faith.
Faith at home
“I think that’s already half the battle for any parent if they know that their child is close to God,” she said.
Christine shared she and her husband go out of their way to instill in their children the fundamentals of the faith like teachings on the Mass, Confession, and the other Sacraments.
They also read them stories from the Bible to complement and reinforce what they learn at school.
“How I rear them, how I lecture has always been on the faith. I say, ‘Whatever you do make sure you can always of it front of lolo and lola (grandfather and grandmother),’” she added.
They make sure the little Sandejases—all five of them—will grow up respectful, honest, and disciplined.
“Values are very important for me,” exclaimed Christine.
Like other hands-on parents, she is “very particular” and refuses to be dependent on other people in terms of caring for her kids.
“If they’re feeling sick, I wanted to know why they’re feeling sick. It’s not because somebody would tell me,” she said.
She shared that an ordinary day at the Sandejas home revolves around her scheduling, organizing, running various errands, working out, bringing kids to school, waiting for them to come home, and helping with their homework.
On top of it all, Christine believes that a mother should lead by example, putting the welfare of her kids before her own.
“Not so much about going to Mass everyday. It’s not that. It’s just understanding the kids, empathizing with them, being there for them. I think for me that would be a mom,” she said. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)