Parish Dispatch: Father Mario Amore, St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit, MI

April 14, 2022  •   LPi

Father Mario Amore infront of church

We are so honored to work with vibrant parishes across the United States, each one working to bring the Kingdom of God to their neighborhoods. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, Father Mario Amore serves at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit. Here he answers some questions about his special parish. (Answers have been edited for length).

Q. Describe your parish demographic in 140 characters or less.
A. We are a vibrant community in the heart of downtown Detroit. We love the Lord, serve the poor, and strive daily for the Kingdom.

Q. What makes your community unique?
A. Our tag line is “Everybody’s Church in Downtown Detroit” and we truly live up to it! We are home to one of the most active outreach centers in all of Detroit and our parish community boasts a large Catholic young adult presence.

Q. Why do most people visit your city?
A. Detroit is the epicenter of culture. We have world-class museums, an exquisite symphony orchestra, beloved sports teams, and we are a foodie’s paradise. The Motor City moves the world!

Q. What do people say when they visit your parish for the first time?
A. They are moved by the beauty of the building and the warmth of the community. As it says in our parish history, “It is safe to say that, in all the world, there is not another place of worship with an interior exactly like that of “Everybody’s Church” on Washington Boulevard. … St. Aloysius is, in reality, three churches in one, made possible by the invention of the semi-circular “well,” the most outstanding feature of the building.” You’ll have to come experience it for yourself!

Q. Where (and what) do you recommend for your best local eats?
A. Too many to list. Detroit favorites include Lafayette or American Coney Island for a coney dog, tacos in Mexicantown, anywhere in Greektown, Pierogi at Polish Village, and Buddy’s Pizza for the win!

Q. What is the last film you saw that you would recommend to your parishioners?
A. King Richard.

Q. What is your most used App?
A. IBreviary.

Q. What is your most used emoji?
A. Thumbs up.

Q. What is an underrated book of the Bible and why?
A. Joshua. I think he perfectly sums up the heart of the Gospel, “Choose today whom you will serve…” (24:15).

Q. What is an unexpected blessing of your priesthood?
A. Before discerning a vocation to the priesthood, I wanted to work in TV or Radio. When I was ordained, I thought I was putting those dreams behind me. Instead, the Lord has worked through me in many and varied ways to share the Gospel on both platforms and on the digital continent, as well. It shouldn’t have been unexpected, though, as the Lord never wastes our gifts!

Q. What’s the coolest thing about your parish?
A. The diversity of races and ages, and the interplay of them all. We are atypical — in location, in size, in demographics, and in our architecture.

Q. Who in your community inspires you?
A. The young adults. They are striving each day to live for the Lord with their heart set on Heaven. They inspire me to be a better pastor, a better Christian, and a better disciple.

Q. What evangelization risk have you taken in the past year that has born great fruit?
A. Making people feel welcome is the first step in evangelization. I guess it involves a risk of time and perhaps rejection, but we invite every new person who registers out to coffee to get to know them. We tell them about our wonderful community and the opportunities for them to get involved. It is well worth the investment, and we’ve never been rejected!

Q. What is your most innovative method of communication with your community?
A. These days, it’s word of mouth! It’s quite innovative for the digital age in which we live. We find that people hear about us through others who have found our parish to be a place of encounter with the Lord and a true community of believers. It’s the greatest compliment that we get.
I’m not sure how innovative it is, but at the end of the day, we also go with what works:

  • Hard-copy bulletins
  • Weekly eblasts
  • Monthly young adult eblasts
  • Advertising events on our diocesan interactive platform
  • Daily posts on Facebook and Instagram (thanks to my talented co-worker, Beth)

We have also worked hard to rebrand and develop a new website over the past few years (staloysiusdetroit.com) which makes it easy for outsiders to communicate with us, get more information about the parish, and volunteer with our outreach initiatives.

Q. What is the best piece of ministry advice you have received?
A. “Do what gives you life!”

Q. What is important to you in a great parish website?
A. The website is the digital front door of the parish. It should very quickly give the visitor a clear idea of who lives inside and what they are all about. One must be able to find Mass and confession times as well as locate the bulletin in a matter of seconds. There also must be a mobile version available as most people visit websites on smart devices. Finally, the website must include the ability for people to volunteer, register, and connect with the parish for help or sacramental requests.

Q. How do you personally use social media to communicate with your faithful?
A. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram sharing parish events and thoughts related to the practice of the faith. Additionally, I write and narrate the “Why?” series for Unleash the Gospel in the Archdiocese of Detroit that is shared across all social media platforms.

Thank you, Father Mario, for sharing your insights with us!

If you have a vibrant parish and would like to be featured in an upcoming Parish Dispatch, email: dcenter@4lpi.com.

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Joe Ravida
2 months ago

Fr Mario brings a vibrant, fresh leadership to the City of Detroit. His presence in the media reflects his devotion to spreading good, hope and guidance to the people in the city of Detroit and beyond. His actions are an inspiration and his voice is well heard. Continue to lead Fr. Mario.