MADISON HEIGHTS — Living her faith. That about sums up Brooke Imrick’s philosophy of life.

“My Catholic faith is important to me,” she says. “It helps me build a relationship with God. That’s the foundation of life.”

Her foundation is comprised of family, school and church.

Brooke, 17, will be a senior this fall at Bishop Foley High School. She’s the second oldest of five children of David, who works for BASF in Southfield, producer and marketer of chemicals and related products in North America, and Brenda, a stay-at-home mom.

Her siblings include D.J., a sophomore at Oakland University; Abigail, a junior at Foley; Miranda, an eighth grader at their parish, St. Lawrence in Utica; and 4-year-old Sebastian.

“I can remember, when we were growing up,” Brooke says, “my grandmother would come to our house for dinner every Sunday and, after dinner, teach us the catechism or about that day’s Gospel.”

The family’s involvement in their parish’s life carries over at Bishop Foley. David is a 1991 Foley graduate, Brenda (nee Finn) a 1992 grad, and D.J., class of 2017. David helps with athletics-related projects, while Brenda serves on the alumni board.

Brooke has been passionate about softball since she started pitching in the seventh grade. Next spring will be her fourth year on the Foley varsity team. This past spring, the Ventures had a 22-8 record that included their second straight state district championship and runner-up for the CHSL C-D Division title.

It was a particularly stress-filled season. “I was the only pitcher, so I pitched all the games,” she says. “We had a lot of rain-outs. It was crazy. We’d play 6-8 games back-to-back making up for the postponements. I developed severe tendonitis in my pitching elbow.”

That has slowed Brooke down only a little bit this summer. Under her doctor’s care, she’s continuing private lessons and pitching for the Michigan Batbusters, a U-18 travel team.

“I’m also planning on doing some weight work this fall to get ready for my senior year.”

Bishop Foley is believed to be the only high school in the archdiocese with a chapter of Catholic Athletes for Christ, which serves Catholic athletes in the practice of their faith, helping them to share the Gospel in and through sports. Members are recognized as “Cathletes.”

The club meets for a half-hour at 7:15 a.m. every other Wednesday. 

Community service is a vital aspect of the program.

“Brooke is entering her fourth year as a Cathlete,” said athletic director Brian Hassler, “and has volunteered at events for Special Olympics and reading to a variety of the many different Catholic grade schools we visit.”

Brooke says it was a “cool thing” to read at St. Lawrence. She got to see former teachers, and the kids “were so excited.”

One of her favorite Cathletes’ service projects is “Jeans Day.” Students pay $2 for the privilege of wearing jeans. The collection is used to purchase toys, clothing and supplies for Birthright of Macomb.

This summer, Brooke volunteered to teach at the Vacation Bible School at St. Lawrence and spend a week helping at St. Vincent de Paul’s Camp Ozanam on the shores of Lake Huron.

Amidst all this activity and maintaining a 3.8 GPA, Brooke has worked the past three years at Fuddruckers, a hamburger-specialty fast-food restaurant in Sterling Heights. She uses part of her earnings to cover expenses related to summer softball.

Brooke attends daily Mass with her mother, “my No. 1 fan,” and regularly recites the rosary privately or with the family.

Her next big decision is to select a college, “one that will be the best fit for me, help me grow in my faith.”

She gave thought to a handful of possibilities before making a verbal commitment to Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

“I asked her what made her choose Aquinas,” Hassler said. “She said that she had been praying about it and she felt that is where she was supposed to go.”

Firming up her foundation.