Dear Our Lady of Mercy Family,
My name is Lauren De Witt, and I am humbled and honored to be the new Christian Formation Director at Mercy. My path here was quite unconventional, but as the Portuguese proverb occasionally attributed to St. Theresa of Avila says, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” I am so thankful that He has led me here at this time of my life.
I am technically a Baton Rouge native, although I consider Mobile, Alabama to be my hometown. My father was a Southern Baptist preacher, and we moved around quite a bit growing up as my father followed God’s call to minister at various churches in Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and finally back to Louisiana again. Growing up as a “preacher’s kid,” I vowed I would never enter into the ministry life – proving God has a magnificent sense of humor.
After graduating high school at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, I attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina where I received my B.S. in Accounting. Following graduation, I attended Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, where I spent my first two years of law school before moving to Baton Rouge in 2012 to finish my third year of law school at the LSU Law Center. I spent the next seven years practicing public finance law in Baton Rouge before “retiring” in early 2020 to spend more time with my family.
Although I grew up Southern Baptist, in 2016 God placed several joyful and incredibly faithful Catholics in my life. They truly lived out the “joy of the Gospel,” and it was incredibly attractive. I began praying the Rosary, asking questions, and devouring any books having to do with Catholic apologetics.
After a time, I found myself saying, similar to St. Peter, “Lord, to whom else shall I go? Your Church has the words of eternal life.” I was convinced that the Catholic Church contained the fullness of truth, and on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary in 2017, Father Cleo welcomed me into full communion with the Catholic Church. My parents, husband, and children were proudly in attendance, and my husband has since also joined the Church in June 2020.
Aaron and I have three children (whom you have probably at least heard at some point if not seen at Mass!): Emily Grace (8), Beckett (4), and Abbott (2). We are currently homeschooling, a process that has been both a blessing a deeply sanctifying to our little Domestic Church. I am also back in school myself, working on my masters in spiritual theology through the Avila Institute.
As Christian Formation Director, I am looking forward to journeying in joy with others discerning their own paths into the Catholic Church through Mercy’s RCIA program, as well as assisting each of you in any way I can to help you discover the joy of the Gospel in your own lives and families through bible studies, retreats, and more. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about formation opportunities at Mercy, and I look forward to serving you and walking alongside each of you on this beautiful journey.