Back in high school, I sang in the church choir. My teacher at school also sang in the church choir, and one evening after practice, he asked me if I’d consider starting a youth group. I nearly gagged at the thought. I pictured sitting in a circle with my peers, strumming acoustic guitars and singing contemporary worship songs that I don’t know the words to. I answered no, that “I prefer to keep my faith private.” I said it like it was a badge of honor, that by showing this restraint, it somehow meant my faith was deeper and more honest than those who live theirs out loud. My teacher looked confused, and never brought it up again.
I started writing The Artisan Catholic (formerly The Daily Catholic) in 2014. I had recently joined Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago, and I attended their weekly lectures discussing topics like:
- Discipleship in a multicultural church
- The archeology of faith: A personal exploration of how we come to believe
- Why is the message of the gospel joyful?
- The seven sacraments: The treasures of our faith
- Interfaith panel on the definition of mercy
The steady exposure to lectures, programs, and powerful homilies at HNC shone a light on an unrealized part of my identity. Holy moly – I’m fascinated by the history of the Church, the who, what, why of Catholicism. I awakened to the responsibility of understanding what it means to live as part of the universal Church. The shell of timidity around my faith began to crack. I wanted to talk because I wanted to learn, and I wanted to learn because I was falling in love with Jesus.
At the same time, I started a second blog, Mixtape, focusing on creative writing. On this platform, I’ve shared essays, poems, and personal reflections exploring creative inspiration. I love art for it’s ability to tell human secrets. Writing is my chosen tool of the trade. The blog focused entirely on art and writing, and I mention very little about Catholicism. I didn’t consider God a source of inspiration.
After three years, keeping my relationship with God locked away and out of the art I share with others feels like lying. I’ve been keeping a secret from myself, a secret summarized perfectly by my old Religion and the Arts professor, that “art is a vehicle for the numinous.” Some of my best work comes from the intersection of God and art. My ideas for this blog connect to a vein that is constantly replenishing itself.
The content in this blog centers on three common themes:
- Understanding what a relationship with Jesus Christ entails should come before dogma.
- Art is one method God uses to reveal the unique relationship He has with each of us.
- Catholics are called to live the faith in all ways – big and small. What does this actually look like in the context of a real life?
I’m excited to share this journey, and I saved you a spot.