In just two weeks, our five catechumens and candidates will be fully initiated into the Church at our Easter Vigil. Today I’d to share with you the remarkable stories of our three candidates, all from St. Patrick’s, who are already baptized but are becoming full Catholics for the first time.
25-year-old Josh Snyder didn’t grow up in Ravena and had never been to St. Patrick’s or any Catholic church until the day in December 2016 when his mother, who was raised Catholic, decided to swing by her hometown and bring him to see the church and school where she’d been raised. Josh said the moment he entered he felt God was telling him: “Here. This is where I am calling you.” He came to the Reconciliation Service that happened to be occurring that night, met me and told me that he was being called here, despite the fact that he had been active in a number of non – denominational and Messianic Jewish churches throughout his life. He entered the RCIA process last year and now says, “I feel this is where God wants me to be.”
Paul Yaas, a husband, father of four and grandfather of eight worked as a carpet installer for 30 years. He learned a lot in the School of Hard Knocks (in which many of us are enrolled as fellow students). He has always striven to be a good neighbor and virtuous citizen, but never lived out his lifelong goal of crowning his Catholic baptism with the Sacrament of Confirmation, though he always desired it. God called him to us at this point in his life and it’s clear that, as usual, God’s timing is perfect.
Mary Ellen Rosato is well-known to many in Ravena and beyond. She is married to John Rosato and has two grown children, one of whom is serving in the military overseas. Mary Ellen is retired from a career working for the Department of Corrections in Coxsackie and now works for the Building Department fo r the Village of Ravena. Mary Ellen was raised Methodist, but her mother was Catholic and she was always drawn to the mystery and beauty of the Catholic faith. Mary Ellen has been coming to St. Patrick’s for years, always comes forward at communion to receive a blessing and has invited folks from all over town to come experience the beauty of Mass at St. Pat’s. She credits her mother-in-law for the timing of her decision: “She will be 90. I love her dearly and I love her faith in the Church and I want to become a part of this.”
Doesn’t your heart warm as you read their stories? Come witness their full initiation at our Easter Vigil. Let’s allow their faith to fan our embers into a flame.