We asked parishioners throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit to share how they unleash the Gospel in their daily lives. Here’s what they had to say!
Posie West, Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit
The number one Scripture verse that has affected my life is Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” When that is applied to life, all doors opens, all power of Kingdom of Heaven are granted.
I was in trouble when I was 16 years old, not to get into the details. A that point in time, I threw my hands in the air and said, “I want to give up.” One day, my mother asked me to go to the store to get a Twix and a Sprite while she was studying. As I was about to leave the store to get on my bicycle, I saw a reverend speaking on the TV. I’m not sure who he was, but he was saying how faith is the substance of things hoped for, but not seen.
I heard that as I was walking out the door. Coming back home, I thought, “Man, why am I giving in?” It was a newfound drive inside me that propelled me forward from that day on, and I refused to forget it. That Scripture verse stayed with me, especially when finding the Bible myself. So I just reread the entire chapter of Hebrews — it really stuck with me then and still does now.
Sr. Mary Martha, OP
As a religious sister, my life is deeply immersed in the Scriptures. We gather as a community throughout the day in prayer with the Scriptures, in the Liturgy of the Hours and in the highlight of our day, the Mass, which is itself filled with the Scriptures. After nine years in the convent, many Scripture passages have become such a part of me that they spring to mind at various opportune moments, refocusing me on the Lord and His will.
I have also found in my life personally that sometimes I need the comfort of the Scriptures; no other spiritual book will do. In moments of stress or of grief, even the driest passages of Leviticus have brought me a deep peace and sense of the Lord’s presence and love. And it is only through these moments of encounter with the Lord in his Word that I am able to preach and proclaim his Word to others, to bring anything of worth to those whom I serve.
Patty Breen, St. Augustine St. Monica, Detroit
To me the word “proclaim” means how I proclaim Jesus to other people through my words, actions and attitude. It is about how I treat others. It can be something as simple as thanking the teenage boy by name who bagged my groceries at Meijer’s or not getting angry at the person who cuts me off, but rather saying a prayer for them. I proclaim Jesus with how I live my life in big, medium and small ways.
The word “preach” I think often has a negative connotation. It brings up images of standing on a soap box in a busy location yelling at people that they will go to Hell. To preach simply means to announce, declare or herald a message. I want my life to be an announcement of the power of Jesus Christ, that my unique life story will encourage other people and point them right back to Jesus.
Joe VanAssche, St. Stephen’s Parish, New Boston
At home we unleash the gospel by continuing it as Archbishop Vigneron said in his pastoral letter about Acts. I love the idea of “Acts chapter 29.” Obviously there is no Acts chapter 29 in the bible. So our lives are that next chapter, the continuation of Christ’s mission on earth. We try to bring Christ into all parts of our lives. My wife Heather and I have six children which we homeschool. Our goal for them is by the time they are grown, they will know Jesus, and they will know Our Blessed Mother. Not just know about them, but know them intimately.
It can be overwhelming at times dragging kids around to extra masses and holy hours, aside from our usual Sunday mass, but the fruits that it brings are worth the work.
This year has been different than years past for me spiritually. I introduced a program called Exodus 90 at our parish and it brought in around 40 men total. This program has transformed all of our lives and we’re starting to see the fruits of it through other things at our parish, such as a new group to help develop young boys into strong catholic men called “Troops of St. George.” I’m looking forward to this and anywhere else the Lord is calling me.
Mark Nemecek, Ss. Peter and Paul, West Side Detroit
I work at an apostolate that is dedicated to evangelization, so I have an even greater obligation to “unleash the Gospel” every day. Most of my work is in production of videos and graphics that train Catholics to become better evangelists. I try to evangelize with at least one person every day, whether it is by giving Miraculous Medals to strangers on the street or by praying with a neighbor. I manage social media for both Saint Paul Street Evangelization and Young Catholic Professionals, and also do freelance marketing for parishes and ministries.
As a volunteer, I’m on the leadership for Catholic Young Adult Soccer, a league with a large percentage of non-Catholics. I practice “radical hospitality” as an usher at my parish and also do Christian service with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Knights of Columbus. There are a hundred ways to “unleash the Gospel” every day regardless of your state in life. Finally and most importantly, “unleash the Gospel” is anything, big or small, that brings people closer to Christ and His Church.
Marianne Lupinacci-Kosinski, Christ the Good Shepherd, Lincoln Park
In my daily life, I have a couple of different roles. The role of a mom, grandma, Catholic school educator and Catholic school administrator. I like say educator, because that really comes first. That is what you do first, all day long, you are teaching what you believe in. I bring these roles together, to unleash the Gospel and it is all about what I do, not necessarily what I say. We all know that kids do what you do. Not what you say. That is part of unleashing the Gospel, that is what the Lord would want us to do, so people will get to mimic that, and it is joyful, it brings joy into my personal life as well as into my life here as an educator.
I get the blessing and joy of being able to model to the children what it means to follow the Gospel teaching. We thank God every day. We start the school day with asking the Lord to be on our hearts, our minds to and on your lips, you are going through your day when stuck on something. When you are learning, you call on Jesus, you call for help because he says that in Scripture, call on me, and I am always there, I am everywhere with you. We teach children to do that, we see teachers do that, we model that when we pray with them. It is not unusual for students to see teachers praying together, including myself. We celebrate that we are in a place where we can do that. In this world that is chaotic, when you come to our school, it is an extension of your home. We nurture our children and we give them Jesus every day. And that is the beauty of all that.