Eric and Adelita Theis developed personal relationships with God during different specific moments in the late 1990s. First, Adelita became ill and turned to the Lord. She then prayed that Eric would have a similar conversion and would begin going to Mass not out of obligation, but because he knew God.
“Adelita was praying hard for me, and when she cried out to the Lord, He heard her,” Eric says. “God made Himself clear to me. He made it clear that He is real, and I need Him.”
In Michigan and Texas respectively, Eric and Adelita grew up in “culturally Catholic homes.” In 1987 they met on Eric’s birthday while they were both working for the same company. They dated for a few years and then were married in 1991.
In those first years of marriage, Eric describes himself as a “typical man” in the sense of liking college sports, doing things around the house, and going to Mass because Adelita drove them. All that changed in 1999.
“I hope men who are similar to me will soften their hearts and open their eyes,” Eric says. “We don’t have to go to Church. We get to go to Church and thank God for all He does for us. He is awesome.”
Eric and Adelita moved to Michigan in 2001 and began attending St. Mary.
“I was struck by the warm and welcoming community,” Adelita says. “We had young children in preschool and kindergarten, and we loved the community. Though at that time the parish was typically older, there were also young families.”
In the early 2000s, they were both involved in teaching religious education and then with family life ministries, after seeing similar models of such ministries at other churches.
“We worked with another family at the parish and started a family life ministry,” Eric says. “We did different programming for families like movie nights, picnics, sock hops, and even Marriage Encounter.”
Today Eric and Adelita are known as the “coffee and donuts people.” They’ve also been involved with RCIA and the prayer ministry, and currently, Adelita is on the Adoration leadership committee.
“We have to invest ourselves in anything of value, and our parish family doesn’t operate any different than your own family in terms of giving,” Adelita says. “Interestingly enough, I began to see that the Lord was giving me true joy through being involved with coffee and donuts. That joy is from Him.”
Eric and Adelita are thankful for our priests and their faith and unwavering perseverance. They are also thankful for the young families of St. Mary because young families are the future.
“Thank you to the beautiful young moms and dads who are faithfully bringing their kids to church,” Eric says. “Thank you for being a great example and a light for everyone in the parish.”
Eric and Adelita would encourage the faith community to pray and participate in parish life because God is real and waiting for us.
“If you’re wondering how to become involved in parish life, I’d say go find God first,” Eric says. “God is real, and He has all sorts of things to give us, but He is waiting for us to ask. We have to ask.”