Melissa in Rome
Melissa Butz is a 27 year-old Catholic woman living in Rome and in a relationship with an Italian, Catholic man.
Where are you located?
Rome, Italy, but I'm from Atlanta, Georgia.
Are you a cradle Catholic, convert or revert?
I am a cradle Catholic.
What’s been the biggest game changer in your Catholic faith?
The biggest game changer for me is Mass and Eucharistic adoration. To be able to sit in God's presence and receive Him daily is the best gift for me. On weeks when I work odd hours or can't go, I notice the difference. I truly believe I need the extra graces to get through my week.
Name a saint you identify with and share why.
Wow, such a difficult question. I relate to many in different ways. I would have to say St. Martha though, because I need to be reminded to be still and listen. By remembering Jesus' words to her, it helps me keep my priorities in check. Also St. Frances de Sales is very close to my heart, as the patron saint of journalists and writers. I truly believe he has helped me in my career as a journalist and I'm always praying for his intercession.
When have you felt most valued as a woman in the Church?
I think I felt valued as a woman in the Church when I was participating in a women's Bible Study. It was beautiful to see how our hearts and mind as women pick up on different aspects of the Gospel than men do. It's so complimentary and it reinforced my role as a woman in the Catholic Church, because we really have something valuable to offer.
What’s your favorite way to pray?
I have been using a devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young for a couple years now. It is set up as though Jesus is speaking directly to you and gives you accompanying Bible verses to go with it. I also like to read about the life of the saint of the day and any other holy inspiration I can find to kick-off my day.
Favorite liturgical holiday?
I must admit that my calling to be a mother is on my heart in many ways. Thus, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, especially reflecting on Christ's birth from Mary's point of view. A new liturgical holiday that I'm already loving is the Monday after Pentecost, Mary, Mother of the Church. It reminds us of her role as our mother and the mother of all humanity and it's absolutely beautiful.
What do you do for fun?
Since I live in Rome, I am always traveling and exploring different areas of Europe or Italy. I love seeing new places and I practicing my Italian. Not many people know that I also love to paint. My room is full of paintings accompanied by Bible verses or various inspirations I get in prayer.
Three words that describe you — go!
Determined, joyful and fun-loving.