I have a little extra interview for you all today! I recently “met” Alyssa and absolutely love what shes doing on her blog and Instagram. Her photography is truly inspiring and filled with so much intention. I love how she brings out the beauty of the house of God in such an intentional way!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself.
Hello! My name is Alyssa Duet and I am the creator of Faithrose Photography on Instagram. Before moving to Minnesota, I grew up in Tampa, Florida and was raised Catholic. I attended the Academy of the Holy Names, an all-girls high school, and graduated in 2012. From there I went to The University of Tampa and graduated with my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, completing both by 2017. This past summer I moved to Minnesota to be closer to my sister, Danielle Rother (we are not twins, but we get asked if we are all the time!). The two of us have always been very close and I am happy to be living near her again. Truly, moving to Minnesota has been the best decision of my life and I am so thankful for the many blessings the Lord has provided for me in this new season of my life.
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? What encouraged you to strive for a deeper relationship with God?
I was born and raised into a loving, supportive Catholic family. I was also very blessed that my parents sent me to private Catholic school for both elementary and high school, which is where I developed the foundation of practicing out my faith and coming to know more about Catholicism. Although the university I attended for college was not Catholic, I still made an effort to grow in my faith and to find friends who were also seeking to do the same. Entering into my last summer as an undergraduate, I went to Minnesota and worked for the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis doing Totus Tuus – a catechus program for children and youth which focuses on growing a deeper relationship with Jesus through Mary. During my time of serving on Totus Tuus I had a profound experience with growing in deeper relationship with the Lord. He helped me to see the beauty of young children excited to learn about the faith, how the sacrament of confession can transform us, and the true peace He brings in simply adoring Him in adoration. I am forever grateful for that summer.
+ How do you intentionally choose joy in your daily life?
Centering my day around prayer and finding simple ways to glorify the Lord throughout my day has always brought joy and peace into my daily life. In each moment of the day, and through every task I do, I ask the Lord to be with me and offer my work as a prayer. Even a small task of washing the dishes after dinner can be used to bring the Lord honor and glory if offered as a prayer. I like to look to St. Therese for inspiration on how to serve the Lord even through the simplest of things. St. Therese was a great example of how even the smallest acts of kindness made to others can go a long way. Truly, the Lord takes delight in us when we do things with a humble heart and when we give our best effort in all we do. Likewise, knowing the Father is beside me during the low and high moments of the day, also brings me comfort and assurance that He can bring good through all things.
+ As someone who has recently moved to a new state, finding a relatable, Catholic community can often be hard. What does Catholic community mean to you? How do you make community a priority?
Actually, one of the main reasons for my decision to move from Florida to Minnesota was because I found a thriving and vibrant Catholic community which I longed to be a part of. During the summer of Totus Tuus I made so many great Christ-centered friendships, grew deeper in my relationship with the Lord, and felt a strong sense of peace within my heart about the idea of possibly moving to Minnesota permanently. So, after completing my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Florida, I felt it was the right time to move to Minnesota. Since living here I have found so many wonderful young-adult Catholic events to join and partake in. Also, I’ve encountered growing in true authentic friendships from the Catholic community in Minnesota mainly because I have been able to share the value of seeking to follow and practice out the Catholic faith with my friends. I am very thankful to still be so close with my Totus Tuus teammates and to have made many new friendships through the Catholic community in Minnesota.
+ Your insta page and blog are centered on the idea of capturing beauty all around you. How do you seek out beauty each day, even in the small mundane things?
Such a great question! Beauty really is all around us. During my long car rides I can find beauty in the scenery around me, as I am on campus at St. Catherine University I see beauty in the women I work with and those in my classes, when I go to daily mass at the University of St. Thomas I encounter the beauty of our Lord in the Eucharist and His unfailing love. The Lord brings us Peace through His Presence and in each moment of the day I try to remember that.
+ What led you to begin taking pictures of churches?
During my summer of Totus Tuus, my team and I traveled to many different parishes throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis. As I have always loved taking pictures, I tried to take as many photos as I could of where our team was serving so as to document all of the beautiful churches that we had visited. After completing Totus Tuus I returned back to Florida and had a desire to share with others the beautiful churches I had seen over the summer, so I created my faith photography blog called Faithfulrose Photography. I never imagined I would be able to connect with so many wonderful Catholic bloggers and ministries through Instagram, but it really has been amazing to see how other followers of Christ are using their gifts and talents to glorify the Lord.
+ How has your journey of capturing beauty in churches led to deeper faith?
Each time I enter a new church I am in awe of the beauty of the Catholic faith – it feels as though Heaven and Earth meet. Having a beautifully designed church really helps to feel the Lord’s presence and to worship Him.
+ Of the churches you’ve photographed, do you have a favorite?
There are so many beautiful churches in Minnesota that it’s hard to choose just one! Although, I think if I were to choose one, it would be The Church of St. Agnes. The stain glass windows, the high altar, and the grandness of the church are just some things that I really admire.
+ If you had a megaphone and a message for all Catholics, what would you say?
One of my favorite quotes is from Pope Benedict the XVI, “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.” Reading this quote over again and again, reminds me of how we are called to do the Lord’s work, to display the faith in all areas of our life, and to strive for holiness each day so as to become a saint.
Have a beautiful Saturday, my friends!