My Mom has been bugging me for months.  “Danielle, when can we go back to my church?”

Plans fell through some weeks, but we made it work.

It’s Sunday at noon, mass just ended. My Mom is having a look around the church where her parents were married, where she attended elementary school and eventually where she married my Dad.

My sister and I are waiting patiently, allowing her to take it all in.  We’re approached by a patron of the church and he asks us, “is this your first time attending mass at St. Francis D’Assisi?” We say no, but before we have a chance to finish our response he recognizes my Mom. He immediately greets my Mom by name saying “Debbie, welcome home.”

This moment will go with me for the rest of my life, a moment that seemed small.  To be welcomed back to a place that holds so much history not only for my family, but the neighborhood meant so much to my mom and also to me.

It was this moment that reaffirmed to me the welcoming nature of churches and their importance to Detroit neighborhoods.

As we work on our final team challenge that is focused on engaging the youth for the Detroit ’67 Project, I encourage the fellows to remember the influence that churches have in neighborhoods.  If you are looking to engage the youth, look no further than your local church.

Na zdrowie!