I am a first generation "Swede." My father came to this country in 1924 at the tender age of 17 all by himself. His first experience landing on American soil, was the theft of the coat his mother made for him specifically for the journey.
I am probably the only Catholic on his side of a Lutheran family. My dad had long given up on his faith and was surprised at my conversion.
Our society today seems to be devoid of role models but the Catholic Church has the saints to look to. Since I converted as an adult, I really wasn't schooled in the saints. I'm trying to correct that.
Today is the feast day of St. Bridget of Sweden, hence the memories of my father. But every day as I read my Magnificat and discover a new saint, I find my faith strengthened.
I only wish my Dad were still around to talk about it and translate that amazing little book!
At age ten, standing beneath a crucifix, St. Bridget thought she heard Christ say, "Look upon me, my daughter."
"Who treated you like this?" she asked.
"Those who despise me, and spurn my love for them," he replied. - From Bert Ghezzi's Voices of the Saints
You can read more about Saint Bridget of Sweden here.