Under normal circumstances our two elect and six candidates for Confirmation and Full Communion would have received their sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil as the culmination of their long process of preparation and after and intense week of prayer and reflection during Holy Week. But, this year that didn’t happen. The pandemic and the shutdown meant that even though they are fully prepared, our elect and candidates have had to be patient and wait. We continue to pray for them each week and with our RCIA Ministry team, we continue to meet with our candidates online every Tuesday for classes and every Sunday for Breaking Open of the Word. We must be patient too awaiting for the time when we can safely return around the table of the Lord together.

Today I thought it would be nice to hear from one of our Candidates for Full Communion on her journey of faith and what is means to her in light of this pandemic. Here is a short reflection from Brooke McGowen, who was baptized in another Christian community and is seeking full Communion in the Catholic Church and Confirmation.

Please continue to pray for her, and for all of our elect and candidates who have been so patient awaiting their sacraments.

-Joseph Nuzzi
Director of Evangelization
From Brooke McGowen:

Every Tuesday since September and nearly every Sunday since November, I’ve been attending classes & mass with the RCIA program at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. There’s a much longer story here as to the exploration, decision, and journey I’ve been on over the last few years. Our small group has met without end, now through the pandemic, through livestream mass, through uncertainty, through illness, through fear, through trust. I had been incredibly selective about sharing this information. However, I think while the pandemic has revealed some of the highest levels of fear in me, it’s also given me more courage in other ways – to be vocal about causes I support, people & leaders I support, or don’t support. And now faith. As an artist, this type of silence is deadly. As a human, the silence is stifling. I’ve learned there’s also a place to keep some things private.

But tonight, after our online class, I am moved to break my silence and share something that has become very close to me. In all of this turmoil and change, this has been a constant. I originally went to check our the RCIA, uncertain if I’d feel it was right. Soon, I eagerly awaited the class and the community each week, and that hasn’t changed. We weren’t able to celebrate the sacraments on the Easter Vigil together, but we continue to meet from now until we do. And in a way, our distance from each other and the church and processing faith in such terrifying times has actually made us closer. Tonight is a reminder to me of the importance of community, faith, trust and love. Be well, everyone. And through fear and anger, I hope our faith, love and trust can be stronger most days.