So I’m officially Roman Catholic.

The Easter Vigil Mass tonight was beautiful, and started with a fire outside, where a torch was lit and we all lit candles from the torch and went inside the church (St. Joan of Arc in Candler, NC).

It was a bilingual Mass, because 3 Mexican guy were also receiving the sacraments of Confirmation (my confirmation name is Catherine) and first Communion.

My sponsor Rachel (for infants, a sponsor is called a Godparent) was with me the whole time and helped me rehearse before Mass started. She presented me with a gorgeous rosary with red wooden beads that actually has the scent of roses!

The moment when we were called up to receive Confirmation (which comes first for adults), I panicked a little, but then got myself together and actually did feel filled with the Holy Spirit afterwards.

The Mass was about 3 hours, and because it was bilingual, instead of a lot of solemn hymns, Mexican hymns were sung in Spanish while someone played Spanish guitar, and everyone started dancing at the end.

Pictures were taken afterwards, and I got a lot of hugs (as did the 3 Mexican men) and congratulations, and also a gift bag containing all kinds of literature and a little plastic rosary.

I feel like I’m on a new journey now, that dovetails perfectly with the one I’ve been on.
I feel like I’ve returned home. Even though I was nominally Methodist, I was raised in urban New Jersey and New York, so I grew up with Catholicism. My family were not churchgoers or very religious. I went to Catholic schools and almost all our neighbors were either Catholic or Jewish. Because being at home was usually so unpleasant, I found a lot of comfort in the Mass and at my Catholic schools and at the homes of my Catholic friends. I’m glad to be home.

The other thing I love is feeling like I finally finished something I set out to do. For many years, I never finished anything I started–I’d either lose interest or assume I wouldn’t be able to do it. I had such dismal self-esteem. This is something I actually followed through on until I completed it, and that’s a great feeling. It means I’ve come a very long way from a year ago.

Here are all the photos.

Dressed and ready to go to the Easter Vigil Mass, around 6 PM:
easter_night2 easter_night3

After my conversion:
torch-lighting group_photo1
Lighting of the torch; group photo of Father Dean, me, the 3 Mexican catechumens, and my sponsor Rachel.

group_photo2 group_photo3
Photos of Father Dean, me, and Rachel.

Photo of the rosary Rachel gave me:

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