Family, acceptance, relationships — these words come to mind when Camie Phillips thinks about the Cathedral. It’s home to Bryan, Camie, and their three children, Schyler, Stella, and Calvin.
Camie was raised Baptist but converted to the Catholic faith so she could practice the same faith as her children. While Bryan was raised Catholic, both he and Camie went through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the Cathedral.
“I love this community,” Camie says. “It feels like home. Sometimes, I think people at other parishes might put on a show. At our parish, you can be who you are. You are accepted. Everyone is there to get everyone closer to God.”
Bryan and Camie lost their son, Cooper, in 2007. As the family processed their grief and navigated such a difficult time, Camie relied on her faith. The family had always attended Mass before Cooper’s death, but after he passed, Camie relied on Mass to get her through.
“I was searching, and nothing made me happy,” Camie says. “I had great friends, but I needed my relationship with God and the Church. I started to rely on my faith to get me through.”
The Phillips family regularly attends Sunday Mass. Camie acknowledges that while many families attend Mass when it works for them, for her and Bryan’s kids, Mass is not optional. Schyler and Stella are altar servers, and the whole family brings up the gifts.
“Those who miss Mass are missing a relationship with God,” Camie says. “When we serve, go to Mass, when we or other families bring up the gifts, others see us doing that. It shows that it takes a community and that we are all in this for the same reason. We all want everyone to go to heaven.”
Camie and Bryan teach their kids to always make prayer a priority because God is listening.
Bryan works as an electrician, and Camie is a fifth-grade teacher at the Cathedral school, and she has enjoyed her time being part of the family at the school. She loves her fellow staff members and the school’s mission.
“I truly feel blessed to be working at the school,” Camie says. “I have found a connection with the other teachers, principals, and administrators. I feel that the school staff is genuine and is the true meaning of community. We are all here helping each other — that’s hard to find. Everyone has one end goal.”
Camie is incredibly proud of her girls and their involvement as servers. Calvin will also serve in the future. When the girls see a need for servers, they help without being asked. This is exactly what Bryan and Camie want for their children.
“I want them to see that God has provided for us, and it’s important for them to give back,” Camie says. “You don’t always do things for yourself. We are here to serve.”