We asked people across the Archdiocese of Detroit, “why are you proud to be Catholic?” Here’s what they shared.
Mark Grabowski, Divine Child, Dearborn
“My Catholic faith has always been a part of who I am. I was raised in a Catholic family, attended a Catholic elementary and high school and now attend John Carroll University in Cleveland, where my pride in my Catholic faith has grown as I’ve come to realize just how much God loves us, and learned to share that with my community. However, it isn’t always this easy. In college, there are so many distractions. There will be days where I lack the motivation to live out my Catholic faith. My faith has been tested and I have failed before. I have felt lost. Going to daily Mass has allowed me to grow closer to God and find myself in him and the Eucharist. It took a lot of courage and strength to continuously go to daily Mass, but seeing my relationship with God as a friend has completely changed my mindset. You have to make time to have a relationship with your friends, and it’s the same with God. Even through these days of struggle, God’s love always prevails, and this allows me to continuously be proud of my Catholic faith.”
Camille Graves, St. Moses the Black, Detroit
I’m a Black cradle Catholic with a Detroit Catholic education from elementary school through college. I’ve lived in the same northwest Detroit neighborhood most of my life, in earshot of the bells of at least six different parishes.
I witnessed the changes in my city and, yet pride in my Catholicism not only survives but thrives. It’s forever rooted in childhood experiences, revitalized by the Eucharist, rejuvenated by singing with the Black Catholic Ministries Gospel Choir and empowered by witnessing corporal works of mercy in action.
Growing up, I was inspired by the commitment of the Sisters of Charity who educated me and the Home Visitors of Mary who embraced my neighbors. Along with all the joys of raising my children and nurturing theirs, I’m most fulfilled when experiencing Christian service. As a service coordinator, I’m frequently overwhelmed by the calls of the poor and humbled by the response of the generous. Our parish food pantry feeds the hungry and clothes the cold. Parishioners and seminarians visit our homebound, and volunteers help neighbors avoid utility shut-off or eviction. I’m so proud of being Catholic and part of such a team of joyful missionary disciples!
Matt Lorio, St. Paul of Tarsus, Clinton Township
“‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Only say the word and my soul shall be healed.’ This has always been the most impactful part of the Catholic Mass for me. Even as a young altar boy, the concept of believing in the powerful nature of that phrase began to shape who I am today: Jesus, I have no right to ask for your intercession, because I am flawed, so just say a simple word from a distance, and I’ll accept what comes from that. Right after I repeat those words at Mass, I realize how unconditionally I am loved. How fantastic it is to be able to celebrate being renewed this way at every Mass.
There have been times in my life when situations have challenged my faith, but at the core of all of these challenging times, those powerful words resonate with me. They have helped me realize, once again, that no matter what we are faced with, how dark things seem, how unworthy we may think our needs are, because of faith, we are always loved. Always. Love overcomes all. Being Catholic has taught me that, and I am proud to be Catholic.”
Maia Cook, St. Aloysius, Downtown Detroit
“I am proud to be Catholic because being Catholic means being resilient. No matter what hardships are placed in our way, we overcome them. In hard times, your faith is all that you have. The Catholic faith has taught me a sense of community. We have experienced difficult times within our church, and we depend on one another as a guide to the end of the tunnel. The Catholic church is evolving, and in my opinion, there is no better time than now to be Catholic. I love that we are able to keep the traditions we hold near and dear to our hearts, but we are also implementing modern approaches as well.”
Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda
“I am very proud to be Catholic, for I can share the Good News of our Lord and the true faith as an active member according to the teachings of the church. I am proud and blessed to be nurtured with the loving sacrament of the Eucharist and experience the mercy of God in the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. I am proud to call Mary my mother and ask for her intercession as a joyful missionary of our Lord. And finally, I am proud to be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses — our saints — who intercede for me in this awesome ministry of service to the church.”
Lynda LoPiccolo, St. Mary Queen of Creation, New Baltimore
“I have strong faith and a close personal relationship with Jesus. I got this from the Catholic Church. I remember that even as a young girl, I loved going to Mass every Sunday morning. During the readings, I felt the Lord speaking to me … directly to me! It was so profound and touched my heart like nobody else could. I love my Catholic faith!
Where else would I go to celebrate the sacraments? Where would I go to be cleansed by the sacrament of reconciliation? Where could I go to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ every time I partake in holy Communion? I love my Catholic faith!
There are so many opportunities to grow in our faith, to grow in our knowledge of Scripture and to grow in our relationship with Jesus. There are so many ways to give back to God and to help our neighbors in need. We have our Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ, to call upon for intercessory prayers. When traveling, we never have to go far to find a Catholic church.
I am truly blessed and proud to be Catholic. I trust in Jesus and his divine providence. I love my Catholic faith!”
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” — John 6:68