The Saint Brendan community welcomed a new member at the 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, November 12. Eva Martin entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, when Father Roger received her profession of faith and confirmed her in the presence of the assembly.
Baptized as an infant at Grace Presbyterian Church in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Eva attended Catholic school run by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. “The sisters who administered and taught at my grade school and high school fully embodied Christ’s message to serve with love,” Eva said. “It is their example that drew me to the Catholic faith.”
One of the great gifts of the Second Vatican Council was a deeper understanding of how Christians of various denominations and traditions can find common ground in their baptisms. Indeed, “the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church” is rooted in the sacrament of baptism (CCC 1271). When Christians baptized in other denominations seek to enter the Catholic Church, there is a special rite to welcome them.
In addition, a program of preparation is specifically designed that acknowledges the formation the candidate already has received in his or her previous faith tradition. “Our sessions were grace-filled moments of prayer and discovery,” said Manolito Jaldon, Saint Brendan’s Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation. “I have been renewed in my own convictions of how the Holy Spirit plays on the strings of our hearts to find his stirring presence in the midst of our lives.” When reflecting on her own experience of learning more about the Catholic faith, Eva said, “Taking this time to explore some of the lesser-known aspects of the faith and to reflect on the meaning of the Church’s teachings has been a more fulfilling and inspirational experience than I had ever imagined.”
Standing at her side during the rite of reception were her husband, a friend, and Sister Angela, who served as a proxy in the absence of Eva’s delegated sponsor. Once again, a faithful religious accompanied Eva on her spiritual journey, but this time it was a moment of intimate union with Christ, from her Reception and Confirmation to the Altar of the Eucharist to receive the Lord for the first time. “What a beautiful welcome for Eva today,” remarked one of the parish catechists present for the festivities. “I had tears in my eyes. Such joy!”
The assembly at the 11:30 a.m. Mass on the same day also witnessed five adults enter the Church as Catechumens. They now undertake their formal instruction, as our community accompanies and supports them on their journey towards baptism and full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.
“I was thrilled to welcome Eva into the Church and the five catechumens into the formal phase of preparation to become Catholic,” said Father Roger. “It seems that the Holy Spirit is stirring up much spiritual excitement here on our little hilltop.”
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