Fred Viarrial, 59, grew up as an altar boy at St. Leo's in Denver. Six days a week he donned his cassock and worked the 6 a.m. Mass.
"Books or bells. You are ringing the bells or moving the books for the priests," Viarrial says.
But as he grew up he began questioning elements of Catholicism. As a teenager he had something especially embarrassing to confess, so he trekked over to a Spanish language parish where he was unknown.
"The priest pulled me out and spanked me on the spot," Viarrial says with a laugh. "That got me to question this whole thing of confession."
When he was just 14 the precocious teenager went so far as to schedule an appointment with Denver 's then-Archbishop James Casey to discuss his doubts.
"I took a two-page list of questions starting with the Hail Mary. I wanted to find them in the Bible, their origin ... where is that in the Bible?"
Viarrial says the archbishop humored him but ultimately did not answer his questions.
He still believed in God, but was losing faith in the Church.
By his 20s he was searching for a new church and ended up at Arvada Covenant Church, an evangelical congregation in a Denver suburb.
At Arvada Covenant he says the focus is on a personal relationship with Jesus and that his questions about his faith and the Bible are not met with derision, but with a search for answers through Bible study.
He has found a home at Arvada Covenant, but says he holds no grudge against the Catholic Church and still feels echoes of his Catholic upbringing in his faith today.
"It's like a spiritual tattoo that you receive as a kid," Viarrial says. "Those roots don't ever disappear, you just better try to understand them."