For many reasons, the Easter Vigil is like no other liturgical celebration during our year. The rich symbols and sacramentality give expression to the core of our Catholic faith and beliefs. I can think of no better way to embrace our catechumens and candidates for full communion in the faith! Many of them arrive at this point after long and winding journeys, hopefully with a sense of coming home. I’m grateful for many of our Sisters and other parish ministers who companion these individuals on their journey in RCIA programs, individual instruction or in our schools.

I remember well the Easter Vigil in 2001 when I had the opportunity to participate in the liturgy at St. Susanna Church in Rome. This is the English speaking parish (for which I was most grateful!) and one of the Churches from the early days of our Christian history.  I remember being struck with the awesome realization that  in that space we celebrated the early martyrs and the newest members of our faith community.  That experience has changed the way I’ve celebrated the Easter Vigil ever since!

I can only imagine the joy in Mary’s heart when she met individuals who came to believe in her Son and follow Him either during His days on earth or in the post-Resurrection Church. I know she continues to welcome our newest members today.

Who do you know that is entering our Catholic Church this Easter? Welcome to all our newest members!

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