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Cross & Light shows Jesus' love

‘Pray about who God wants you to touch, and bring them to the show’

At 35, Kelly Nieto thought she had the perfect life – the big house, money, a handsome husband and two healthy children. She had accomplished every goal she had made and was a successful musical comedienne, opening for well-known country artists.

An agnostic “New Ager,” Kelly held séances and welcomed psychics into her home regularly. What she valued in life was everything the secular world says will make you happy – until she was told her mother was going to die. Suddenly, the “things” she cherished weren’t important anymore.

“I found myself on all fours crying out to God or to anyone who would listen,” she says. “I remember thinking: ‘I hope it’s that Buddha guy.’ He was much more appealing than a crucifix. I couldn’t understand how an instrument of torture could be an iconic symbol for billions of people.”

While on her knees, Kelly bartered for her mother’s life, saying: “I don’t know who or what you are, but if you keep her alive and show me the truth, I will give you every last breath.”

Her mother recovered and lived another 20 years, running triathlons and playing the piano. God also had a plan for Kelly.

“God orchestrated such a beautiful story! When I was at my lowest, I cried out for help and that was a prayer God could work with,” she says.

A Catholic journey

A born-again Baptist woman first guided her to Christ. Kelly entered the Baptist church, and for two years, she and her Catholic husband waged a holy war.

“He would bring home stacks of apologetic materials defending the Catholic faith,” she says. “I read them and found myself drawn to the fullness of Truth when I was trying to pull him out of the Church.”

Kelly fell in love with the sacred Scripture, and God called her to enter the Catholic Church. But after two years of studying the faith, she still had unanswered questions. A self-proclaimed “problem child,” Kelly asked her RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) coordinator where she could find the Catholic doctrine in the Bible. The coordinator went to pray for guidance in front of the Blessed Sacrament when she saw a couple who she thought could answer Kelly’s questions and help her on her conversion journey.

In 2000, Kelly joined the Church at Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington Hills.

Holy intervention

When Kelly attended the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday for the first time, she didn’t understand why the church was so empty.

“It broke my heart,” she says. “I was crying out to God, ‘Why would you put me here?’”

“I knew the Blessed Mother put me at the foot of the cross saying, ‘Look at my son and what he’s done. Go share his love,’” Kelly says. “I didn’t see it with my eyes, but I saw it with my soul. When I sat back down, I composed myself and heard God say loud and clear: ‘This is why you’re here.’”

Cross & Light

Kelly’s experiences inspired her to create a musical and multi-sensory video production of Christ’s Passion to Pentecost. Since Cross & Light started touring the country, more than 140,000 people have experienced what the Blessed Mother and God were guiding Kelly to when she prayed the Stations of the Cross.

Cross & Light will perform six shows at St. Gerard Catholic Church in Lansing March 21-23, 2019. Kelly says they expect at least 3,500 people in attendance. Tickets are available online.

“After the performance, the man who plays Jesus talks to the audience in his beautiful and humble way and encourages them to pray and accept Christ. Then, the confessionals open because you can’t proclaim the Gospel without repentance,” Kelly says. “Priests have told us that these confessions are some of the most profound and heartfelt confessions they’ve ever heard. It’s because people can relate to Jesus as a human being, and they see his heart and his love for us.”

Kelly has a personal story of the show’s impact. When her brother, an agnostic who disliked the Church, attended a performance, he gave his life to Christ afterward.

The next step for Kelly is to fulfill the wishes of people across the globe and create a new media adaptation of Cross & Light, which is a digital version of the live event.

“After people see the show, they’re always disappointed they didn’t bring more people,” she said. “Pray about who God wants you to touch, bring them to the show, and I guarantee it will change their lives.”