Why stay a Catholic?

Fr. Nicholas Rokitka, OFM Conv.
2 min readMay 19, 2021


How else am I to know and love God?

When I was applying for various criminal justice jobs (serve and protect was my only possible goal in life), I was asked a few things that I should have thought about earlier:

  1. Do you feel comfortable using a firearm to defend yourself? (I don’t, mostly because I’m a terrible shot)
  2. Do you see yourself working with this agency/department/service in 5 years?

The 2nd question in particular was asked of me during a phone interview, far along in the hiring process. My mouth answered before I could think about a response: No I can’t. In the hours following my brain caught up, but I couldn’t see myself being happy as a police officer. Or any other job for that matter. I have a deep respect for civil servants (certainly in need of reform/retraining but that’s another conversation) but I couldn’t see myself being happy working a job. In various ways I could have seen myself with a wife and kids, but that too seemed a little incomplete. I wanted to be like Peter, jump right in that water. And I could have lived a very happy and holy life as a husband but I don’t believe that’s where God was calling me.

So why stay a Catholic? Is any other faith going to make you as happy? Is believing in the things of this earth going to bring you peace? Is there a moral system that has been tested over the same amount of time and promotes the good in the same way? If there is, let me know, and I’ll consider leaving the Church. (THIS IS A JOKE if I thought there was something else out there I wouldn’t have been ordained.)

Question the Vatican and Apostolic authority and bad priests and bad lay people and the sinners and the sexual abuse and bad liturgy and all the other stuff you want. If you are going to base an institution on its worst characteristics you’ll be disappointed. By pretty much every institution.

But the Church is not like other institutions.

Colossians 1:15–18:

“He is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn of all creation.

For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,

the visible and the invisible,

whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;

all things were created through him and for him.

He is before all things,

and in him all things hold together.

He is the head of the body, the church.”

I stay in the Church because of my love of God, my love of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, and body of which Jesus is the head of, the Church.



Fr. Nicholas Rokitka, OFM Conv.

I am a Catholic Priest and Conventual Franciscan Friar currently serving as a formation director in Silver Spring, MD as well as Province Treasurer.