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Liam and Jamie Cosgrove’s different religious upbringings didn’t get in the way of their friendship during their college years, and they’ve learned to apply both faiths to their married lives as they now raise two young children, including a baby boy.

Liam Cosgrove, 36, served as an altar boy in the Catholic church when he lived in Virginia, Florida and Maryland during his father’s career in the Navy. Jamie Cosgrove, 33, attended synagogue as she grew up with her parents in New Jersey, and continued to do so during visits home when she and her future husband were attending Penn State. They were “casually dating” after they met at the university, she said, and they kept in touch when he later worked overseas, until they got back together in 2006.

And it didn’t take long for their parents to see it would be a good union.

“They knew we were right for each other,” Jamie Cosgrove said of her parents. “His mom and dad welcomed me with open arms,” she said. “They’re very interested in learning about Jewish traditions.”

“It never seemed to be a big deal,” Liam Cosgrove, an aviation engineer, said. “Two good people find something that they like about each other. If faith holds them apart, there’s something wrong about how you’re interpreting your faith. That’s the way I look at it.”

The couple’s 2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son will be attending Hebrew school at a synagogue in St. Mary’s, Jamie Cosgrove said, as they celebrate Christmas and Easter, amid a continuing tradition of visits to St. Mary’s by her parents for Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

“Our children get the best of both worlds,” the Naval Air Systems Command public affairs officer said. “We’re going to try to teach our children about both.”

“Christianity is easily accessible in our culture,” Liam Cosgrove said. “Judaism, you have to kind of go out of your way. You do learn [in Hebrew school] a little bit of another language. That is an educational value.”

As the Cosgroves and their children grow and draw upon two religious backgrounds, they expect to put the principles of their faiths in practice beyond their respective houses of worship.

“It’s more important how you conduct yourself in [daily life], and not an hour on Sunday,” Liam Cosgrove said.

jwharton@somdnews.com