Confessions of a Roamin’ Catholic

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame du Lac.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame du Lac.

(Harbert, Michigan) I have moved in my old age from being a Catholic-Come-Lately to a Roamin’ Catholic, and I take that as a sure sign of spiritual growth.

Knowing that my continued recovery from alcoholism is contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition, I am satisfied that my newly acquired habit of roaming about the Roman Catholic Church is most merrily maintaining my spiritual growth. As we say around the tables: nothing changes if nothing changes.

So, for example, I journeyed today with two dear friends to the University of Notre Dame du Lac to attend Sunday Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. A few weeks ago I went to Sunday Mass at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago and then walked over to the Cell to take in a Sox game and then walked back to the monastery, where I had parked my car, and got to share Vespers with a most melodious band of Benedictine monks.

I have confessed my sins to Franciscan friars in downtown Chicago, and went to Mass at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh the day after we buried my mother in that city’s Homewood Cemetery.

I love my home parish and will get there when I get there, but recent circumstances and invitations and obligations have nudged me out of my weekly routine and into Catholic churches in Grand Rapids, Petoskey, Notre Dame, Chicago, and—in a few weeks—our state capital of Lansing.

I have become a true Roamin’ Catholic, and I love savoring the richness of the church I entered in December 1998 as a convert from the Episcopal Church. The liturgical gap from Canterbury to Rome was not wide, so I was home in Rome from the git-go, and now, when friends call and say: “Let’s go to Mass at Notre Dame on Sunday,” I git up and go with them.

And oh what a feeling we had this morning adding our hearts and voices to the celebration of the Eucharist in that breathtakingly beautiful church in the glow of the Golden Dome on the campus of Notre Dame.

In the glow of the Golden Dome at Notre Dame.

In the glow of the Golden Dome at Notre Dame.

I maintained my spiritual condition by identifying myself as one of that multitude of multi-varied God’s children gathered in that light-filled place, and I look forward to future roamings in the church of Rome.

Stay tuned.



About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
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2 Responses to Confessions of a Roamin’ Catholic

  1. walt henebry says:

    Next time you go to ND be sure to pray to Our Lady Of Victory
    just an aside: my dad’s B25 Bomber was christened Notre Dame De Victor. It got shot up in the Battle of Rabul Island
    A painting of the plane diving into a Japanese harbor hangs in the WW2 section of the Pentigon.

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