By Fatima Jomaa
Unis Middle School
Like all Catholic priests, Father Jeffery Day has taken a vow of celibacy, meaning he has vowed to never marry or have sexual relations with another person. When Father Day visited Unis recently, students asked many questions about how he made the decision to become a priest and go through life without a loving partner. Most Unis students are followers of Islam, a faith that allows its leaders to marry and have families.
Father Day, who specializes in talking with people of different religions, was very gracious about answering about why Catholics take a different approach. He said that Catholic priests feel almost like they are married to God.
“Yes, it is hard giving up kids, but I feel like all the kids I teach at the church are like my children,” he said. “The reason why I can’t get married is because a priest has to stay pure. If I quit being a priest, I still cannot get married because being a priest will stay in my blood. Adopting children would be allowed as long as I follow the rules, and if the kids aren’t mine. … I enjoy being a priest even though it doesn’t allow me to start a family of my own. … I feel like the church is like my family.”
Day was born in the Detroit area in 1972. He graduated from Plymouth-Salem High School in 1990. In 1994, he earned an undergraduate degree in political science and economics at the University of Michigan. It was while he was at university that Day decided to become a priest. His friends and family supported him. They were all very proud of his decision.
Day has been a priest for 14 years now. He is currently pastor at the St. Fabian Parish church, in Farmington Hills. He has also served as a chaplain for local councils of the Knights of Columbus.
“Catholics believe in peace; we are against war. I think the wars that are happening are … mostly about the money …”
“Being Catholic takes a big place inside my heart. I enjoy waking up in the morning and knowing that I am going to church to teach wonderful children.”
The relationship between Father Day and different religions is great. “When Terry Jones came to Dearborn to burn the Qur’an I thought that was ridiculous and horrible.”
Even though I am not part of that religion, I will defend them because I wouldn’t want anyone doing that to me. I have and always will have a very deep respect for Muslims.”