“Letting go of the past never felt so hard
“And moving on never felt so rough”

Kate Lynn Tandarich is into Christian music and country music and writes and sings her own songs under the name Kate Tandy. You can find some of her songs on YouTube.
The two lines above are telling about where she is in life — at 17 on the cusp between childhood and adulthood. “My songs are usually stories of my life,” she said.

She just returned from the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), which saw 23,000 Catholic youths converge on Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 17-19.
While she was there her vocals were good enough to place her among the finalists at the NCYC Top Talent contest.

For her, the real highlight was the spirituality and meeting with like-minded Catholic teens.

Kate is the second eldest of the six children of Mary Ellen and Greg Tandarich. Her siblings include Michael, 19; Mary Beth, 15 (who attended the NCYC Conference with her); Kelly Ann, 13; Gregory, 11; and Janie, 9.

The family does many things together, which is possible because her father, who is in sales with DuPont, works from home.

Their days start with 7:30 a.m. Mass as a family at their parish, St. Patrick in Kennett Square, and ends with evening rosary with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy somewhere in the middle.

This family togetherness is helped along by the fact that all the children are home-schooled utilizing the Mother of Divine Grace program.

The advantages to being home schooled, Kate believes, is the flexibility of the schedule, and as to disadvantages, “I don’t know of any,” she said.

Socialization is not a problem, thanks to lots of friends in youth groups, for example, the youth group at nearby St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, through which she and her sister attended the NCYC Conference.

Personally, she isn’t into sports so that is not a problem; for those of her brothers and sisters who like to play sports, there are opportunities to participate in local sports programs, especially soccer.

Kate’s own hobbies are photography and reading. Photography, along with music, are two of the options she is considering for a future.

As for reading, she likes Christian romance novels, especially the works of Robin Jones Gunn.

At some point soon she is going to have to decide on a college program. Her brother, Michael, will be heading for Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio in January.
Kate may follow him there; she just hasn’t fully made up her mind at this point.

Then there is that matter of a career. Kate is a spiritual person who considers faith her top priority. In addition to the daily family devotions, she spends time in private prayer.
With this profile, one might suspect she will enter religious life. Probably not.

“I’ve considered it,” she said. “I think I want to get married and raise a family. It is whatever God wills for me. We will see.”

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.