Spotlight on new Board member, Danielle Brown, Esq.

by | Mar 22, 2022

In 2021 Renewal Ministries welcomed Danielle Brown, Esq., on our Board of Directors. Danielle was born and raised in Michigan, but since 2018 has been serving in Washington DC as the Associate Director of the ad hoc Committee Against Racism at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). We had some time to get acquainted with Danielle during her recent visit to our Ann Arbor office. She shared with us portions of the beginnings of her faith, her young adult faith journey, and how she got connected to Renewal Ministries.

“By God’s grace, I have always loved the Lord and the faith, but over the years understood how to live that out as a disciple in varying degrees. The Church’s core teachings that many people struggle with, by God’s grace, have always largely matched my natural inclinations. However, I have found that following the Church’s teachings and living the life of a disciple are two separate things. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I came to understand that difference and was blessed by fellowship with many Catholics who were the products of the Renewal movement and covenant communities in Ann Arbor and Lansing, Michigan.

“During that time, the Lord worked powerful currents of healing in my life. He gave me a deep understanding of his living presence today, amongst us, and a deep love and understanding for scripture and many other spiritual gifts. I became a new person who was not just convicted by the dogma, but also convicted by the person of Christ who I had met in a way that was undeniable. We must understand that Catholicism is not a country club, but a calling into a vibrant life in Christ. Even amidst deep pain and suffering, I found a home in the book of Acts and was deeply consoled by the book of Revelation as received by St. John on the island of Patmos, which I was able to visit and pray at during a pilgrimage in 2016. 

When asked to share how her work as a lawyer and her life of faith work together today, Danielle replied,

“My day job is a ministry. I am the Associate Director of the USCCB’s ad hoc Committee Against Racism. Since childhood, I have had a great desire to bring people together and see my experience as a Catholic represented in the many voices that speak on behalf of the Church and Christ. I feel a call to show people how the Cross is still the answer and that we are simply the current custodians of the age-old promises of Christ. He is our inheritance. 

“Daily Mass and time in Adoration praying from the heart and through scripture have been essential. I am not being hyper pious or spiritual here! These are the only things that have kept me sane over the last several years. The waters have been rough. I started going to daily Mass when I was still working for the State of Michigan as an appellate administrative law  judge. Politics in that office were often a big challenge, and things in the country were clearly getting rough for Christians and those wishing to exercise religious liberty. I started going to Mass each day during my lunch hour, in part to bear witness– as a public servant– to Christ. After a while, I just fell in love with daily Mass.” 

Danielle’s history with Renewal Ministries dates back to 2013, a time when she laughingly says,

“Fr. Mark Rutherford “tricked” me into going to Ann Arbor to “check out”  i.d.916 when he was assigned at my parish in Lansing, MI. It was love at first sight. Despite being a frequent visitor to Catholic young adult groups in metro Detroit and Lansing since graduating college, outside of World Youth Day in Toronto, I had never seen that many Catholics my age who were clearly awake to life and to the faith.

“These were not church mice… and I thought, FINALLY, bone of my bone! As I once said before, these were Catholics who were living life in color. Instantly, I wanted that for the city of Lansing. When I told Fr. Mark, he insisted there was a call on me to make id come to life in Lansing. The rest is history. I am beyond honored to serve on the Board of Renewal because their prayer support and their trust in me marked a dynamic new chapter in my life as a disciple. All I want to do is serve Him wherever I am. I am excited to bring to bear my gifts of encouragement, leadership, problem-solving, and uniting people and ministries to Renewal.” 

We are as excited as Danielle is to have her on our Board! Her rich history with id and Renewal Ministries, her commitment to living her faith in Jesus vibrantly, and the depth and breadth of her professional skills and talents make her an ideal fit for the Renewal Ministries’ Board of Directors. Thank you, Danielle!

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Heidi Bratton</a>

Heidi Bratton

Heidi Bratton is a past Renewal Ministries' editor. She is an author, professional photographer, speaker, and educator who is passionate about communicating the Gospel through excellent storytelling. Her diverse background includes over twenty-five years of experience in Catholic publishing, visual storytelling, print and digital media, and Catholic education. Heidi and her husband, John, have six children, three children-in-law, and an ever-growing number of grandchildren.


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