Thursday, December 6, 2012

A child shall lead them ...

Fr. Aaron signing Amanda and McKenzie
On the feast of Christ the King, five individuals between the ages of 12 -17 where signed with the cross in making their pledge to prepare for initiation into the Catholic Church.  On the first Sunday of Advent three children recieved the grace of the sacrament of Baptism.  Therefore, we closed the liturgical year and opened the new one with signs of new life for Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Missions.

Fr. Steve blessing the two new catechumens
What is happening with the two individuals in Rutledge at Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission is unique and amazing.  Last Lent during our first youth retreat, McKenzie and her grandmother stopped by surprised to find a Catholic Church in Rutledge.  It had been a number of years since her grandmother had been to church.  So while I spoke to her grandmother, McKenzie joined the youth retreat.  When I had finished visiting with her grandmother, McKenzie asked to stay for the day.  At the end of the day she asked about becoming baptized as a Catholic.  This fall, with the arrival of Fr. Aaron as youth minister and director of faith formation, McKenzie began bringing friends to the church and to classes.  On the last Sunday of November, the feast of Christ the King, McKenzie and Amanda, both 17 years old, took the next step towards Baptism.  Amanda's sister is also very interested in joining as is another teenager.  All of these individuals grew up in Grainger county as well as their families.  This is a wonderful blessing.
Welcoming Alonzo into the Catechuminate

In Maynardville at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Mission, Alonzo, whose father as a Baptist desires his children to be older before making their decision on religion, and Lydia and Houston, whose grandmother is a member of our church, are also preparing to be recieved into the church at the Easter Vigil.  Along with these three youth, two spouses of Catholics will also be confirmed into the Catholic Faith.  What great gifts of faith we are recieving here in our small missions.

Welcoming Lydia and Houston
Finally, on the first Sunday of Easter three children were baptized as their parents have recently returned to active practice of their faith. 
Our Three New Members and their families

All of this reminds me of the Isaiah verse used so often during Advent: 

"Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together with a little child to guide them"(Is 11:6).

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