Sunday, April 14, 2013

Easter and Beyond

Nine newly baptized this year
Before I head off for a short vacation with friends in North Carolina, I wanted to share with you the great news of Holy Week, Easter and beyond.   Truly when nine new people, all them receiving Baptism, enter the church there is huge joy!!!
Fr. Steve, two of the newly baptized, and Fr. Dominic

Altar of Respose (Holy Thursday)
The Triduim  (those three important days before Easter-- Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) were wonderful.   We had great participation and truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding the community deeper into the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Good Friday Way of the Cross in the rain

At Blessed John Paul II four young woman entered the church.  I am so proud of each of them.  It was a very hard journey.  For three of thems, there is no Catholic connection whatsoever and their parents are not attending any church.  They came, saw and fell in love with Jesus.   I was not with them on Holy Saturday, so when I shared Eucharist with them the following Thursday and offered them the Body of Christ instead of blessing, it was just awesome.  Their faces were beaming.  They are an inspiration to all of us at the church.
This was a lenten rite,
 but it is the only picture of the newly baptized in Rutledge
on my camera

At Blessed Teresa of Calcutta the reception of our five new members was spread out a bit for a number of factors.   One of our new members works nights, so he was unable to be present on Saturday evening.  Therefore, he was received on Easter Sunday morning.  Another family with two teenagers had to wait until Divine Mercy Sunday due to illness in the family during Holy Week.  Two, however,  were baptized at the Easter Vigil.  So we had three events of baptism, all special, and all a tribute to the resurrected Christ living in these new members, their families, sponsors and the members of our little community.

Dale was baptized on Easter Sunday
This is his wife and son with Fr. Steve
Lydia and Houston, two of the newly baptized

The week immediately following Easter we had three couples from Ohio volunteer with us.  They did whatever we asked of them.  This included building a poach, putting in flower beds, cleaning an apartment and even putting together children's puzzles.   Yes, we challenge volunteers in every way.  Among the many good things did, we are most grateful for the help in organizing our first fund raiser for a future building for Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission.   They really helped with the work our yard sale along with so many others from the  community.
Our hard working Ohio Volunteers!

So after all this fun, I think it is time to sign off and head to North Carolina.