“I wanted to come back to the Church, but I didn’t know how,” says David Rakich, who grew up as a Catholic, but had not been in Church for over 30 years. “Life can take you in different directions. I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, and because of circumstances in my life, I just drifted away.”

In 2013 David had a significant health crisis, resulting in the profound feeling that God had saved his life. Now, David was searching for God. He followed different spiritual avenues, but then began thinking about coming back to the Catholic Church. How could he make this happen?

David’s questions were answered with the arrival of the Northeast Ohio Catholic magazine featuring a story about Cheryl, a woman who had recently rediscovered her faith. “Her story was my story,” says David. Then there was the invitation on the back cover of the magazine to attend the diocesan-wide Evening of Confession. “The magazine was addressed to my mother, Cecelia, who is deceased,” explains David. “When my wife and I turned the magazine over and read the ad, my wife said, ‘I think Cecilia is trying to tell us something.”

On February 24th, David walked through the doors of St. Mary of the Falls Catholic Church in Olmsted Falls to a packed house for their Evening of Confession. “I emptied my soul and it felt so good. I was elated and drained at the same time,” remembers David, who hasn’t missed a Sunday Mass since. “The Church is so different than I had remembered. God always forgives you for whatever you did – and that knocks you out!”

Thanks to the donors of Rooted in Faith – Forward in Hope, whose generosity sponsors the Lenten Evening of Confession at all parishes in the Diocese, many people like David have been welcomed home to the Catholic Church.

Photo Gallery

1 of 22