Interview on March 8, 2022, with Maiya, who is studying public health, in front of the Sequoia building at Evergreen Valley College in San José, California.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Maiya: I believe in God and I look to Him in times of good and in times of bad, but I don’t go to church. I would say I’m religious. When I lived with my parents, we used to go to church when I was younger. I was baptized. But they never were very heavy on religion because I can compare to others who I’ve seen, very much more religious. I’m not informed about everything, like the Bible. I know many people know many specifics of it, but I’m very not knowing much. It was a Christian church and I’d like to go because they would do the singing and I liked that, everyone in the same room together. It was a good vibe.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Maiya: Yes. I think eventually we all go to heaven. I don’t think I look more on the bad perspective, like, “Oh, you’re a bad person, you go there.” But if you’re a good person, you do good things, you go to heaven and you see those you left behind and take care of them in a way, look over them.
What if you’re not a good person?
Maiya: If you’re not a good person, those who do those crazy crimes, I never really thought if they go to hell, like what happens to them there. I’m not really sure, but I wouldn’t think they have a spot up there.
Why do you believe in God?
Maiya: God is the Person Who is there for you and is able to support you. Even in times when you feel like you don’t believe in yourself, He believes in you. If you don’t understand why things happen, He understands and eventually He will show you why those things happened. I feel like you have someone that you should always believe in that will be there for you, will love you, support you, even if it’s not those people right in front of you, there is God.
Do you think there’s evidence for the existence of God?
Maiya: It’s not exactly straight up evidence, but I’ve heard so many stories of things and it’s like, “What else would it be?” It has to be God. No other explanation makes sense. I’ve heard both sides, like, “Oh, but that’s not really real. Coincidences can happen.” And it’s like, “Well, I don’t necessarily think that. If you want to play it down, go ahead, but I will stick to my view.”
What would you say if someone asked you “Who’s Jesus?”
Maiya: I would say Jesus is the Son of God. I’ve heard the stories and everything, like,”Oh, he’s not an actual person,” this and that, but He’s still a figure, a very strong figure.
What do you mean by “figure”?
Maiya: I feel like it could be in different ways, so it’s not always the same. I’ve heard “coming down to earth” and things like that, but I guess wouldn’t be exactly sure, but a very strong figure.
Do you think Jesus really exists or existed?
Maiya: I think He existed, exists now, is still strong and powerful, and is very much alive.
Did you invite her to an RCIA program?
or a Bible study?
I find that a lot of young people are not being told the truth about Jesus Christ the Catholic Church by their parents or other family members. Christianity has been watered down by “The Spirit of Vatican II” with the Clown Masses and Jelly Beans for Communion crowd (I’ve seen both). I have talked to a religious education teacher in a Catholic School who refused to teach children about the crucifixion because it was “too violent”.
If I have offended anyone by bringing up these things as bad examples, I am very happy to do so.
“…crucifixion because it was “too violent”.
Interesting, Padre, interesting.
How does the teacher explain the fella that’s on the cross-y thing above the altar? Of course, maybe the parents don’t take the kiddees to Mass either?
It seems she did not go to a Catholic Church.
Fr. Higgins, this is your job.
We are out here lay catechizing and evangelizing.
We are not compensated in any way (except maybe after death.)
You are a representative of Archbishop Gomez who is telling us “We need to proclaim Jesus Christ. Boldly, creatively. We need to tell our story of salvation in a new way. With charity and confidence, without fear. This is the Church’s mission in every age and every cultural moment.”
I assume the catechist was not at your parish or you would have re-instructed them or let them go. If at another parish or event, I assume you let their pastor know.
Did you see the clown mass and the jelly bean thing online? Because if you were present for it and you did not protest it (like us lay people do) you are just as guilty. I have never seen clowns except for two exceptions on youtube which happened over a decade ago and I do not know what you are talking about jelly beans.
You should be saying “There will be no watered down Christianity on my watch.”
This is what we deal with all the time. We sit in the pews with our jaws on the floor and people say “Why didn’t Father do something?”
Maiya seems like a very sensible young woman. I’ve often talked to young people about church. I said there are many ways to attend church. I no longer want to listen to men talking at me, or giving sermons from pulpits. If the church bans women from the priesthood or ministry it is a NO GO. But I do love local Taize style worship, and I tell young people about the services online in Taize, France. You can get together with people who play guitar, violin, and use Taize hymns in all languages, with Bible readings and silent time together. They’ve really liked these services. Women in particular do like small egalitarian groups, which is a very far cry from Big Man in robes lecturing and telling girls and women what to do. Men need to fix men. Women and girls, we’ve got other things to do, and in a democracy free of theocracy, we can do this. So many young women have asked me why the Catholic church is so male dominated, and why men rule and expect women to just be submissive to male authority. They are surprised when I tell them that you can connect with God, but you are under no obligation to listen to mortal men bossing you around. Men go boss men, obviously, the level of male violence, porn and hatred of women worldwide is at an epic level now. So I always tell men that they need to clean up their act, and stop having women excluded from institutional power.
men are women’s children
Please stop giving bad advice.
Why on earth would anyone ask YOU about the Catholic Church?
F. J. Sheed in his book A Map of Life says that one of the biggest misconceptions that people live under is that Heaven is a reward for a good life.
The book is online. This is in the third chapter.
Maiya seems like a wounderful young lady.What she expresses is what 12 step groups would call spirituality.When I was her age I dug deep into religious litterature and embraced my traditional Catholic roots.I hope she searches and embraces her Catholic roots.God bless her on her journey to truth and life.
God is love, all are called into salvation thru the Gospel, not by religion or churches. The elect before the foundation of the earth and the elect thru Grace. God is a spirit energy not of flesh. Reincarnation is for us to atone here on earth for our sins from heaven and earth. This is just a fantasy/illusion, God would really never hurt us as we perceive here on earth, it’s all make believe, but it all seems so real! Awaken! Read your Bible and the apographs over and over again!
Google Apograph, Lost Book of John.
What’s an apograph?
What religion are you, if I may ask?
John 6: Jesus said If you eat and drink of my body and blood you will have eternal life. Which became the 3rd of 7 sacrament Jesus gave us is the Holy Eucharist or Communion which is given in Mass to all who are in state grace can partake of the consecrated Host and the Wine.