A few years ago, my youngest daughter Mimi decided to become a Christian. Little did we know then that this was only the beginning of her religious journey.
Our girls (along with Libby’s husband and our two Grandsons) lived in Grass Valley, California at that time (about 3 hours from our home) and Mimi became very involved in the young adult group at a nearby church called Twin Cities. She was inspired to go with a group from this church on a mission to Mexico. Unfortunately, there was too much violence going on in the region of Mexico they were headed for, so their mission was changed to the inner-city of San Francisco. No matter. That experience moved Mimi and motivated her even more in her Christian beliefs.
I was raised a Roman Catholic in a small New England town that was pretty much made up of Roman Catholics…well, as far as my little girl memories go. Though I haven’t always been the most diligent Catholic, I can honestly say I find a lot of peace in attending mass especially as I get older. There’s something so very comforting to me about all the tradition of it. Honestly, I’m not one to speak out a lot about my religious beliefs, and I’m certainly not one to pressure anyone else in any way, but this past Christmas eve I had decided I wanted to attend Christmas eve mass and Mimi just happened to be over and stated she would like to go with me. Both daughters and the whole crew moved closer to us last spring – which has been absolutely lovely especially since Pops and I have spent a lot of the past few holiday seasons traveling to visit them and other far-away family. It was extra nice to be at home and be able to attend mass and even more special that Mimi wanted to join me.
Little did I know that mass that evening was going to be a catalyst for Mimi to pursue becoming a Catholic. Shortly after that Christmas eve mass, Mimi contacted the church and asked about the process of becoming a Catholic. She then began attending RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation) classes and attending mass weekly. It turns out that at that time there was a large number of people enrolled in the initiation program. There were so many that the church was short on sponsors. I started going with Mimi to her classes to support her and then found out (since it was clear I wasn’t applying pressure to her) that I could become her sponsor. Since I’m what is described as a “cradle Catholic” there’s actually a lot about the Catholic traditions, rituals and history that I found I can learn about too.
We’ve attended classes, special rites and special masses together over these months and last night, at the Easter Vigil mass, Mimi received the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. She is now a neophyte for the next year which simply means she’s a new Catholic. It’s been an honor to share in this religious experience with her and so special to have been able to stand by her side as her sponsor.
It’s also been amazing to witness the profound affect becoming Catholic has had on her. From talking with her and sharing these experiences with her, I honestly believe her journey is still just beginning. I know that Pops, Libby, myself and the rest of the family will all be here for her to give her our love and support as she sets out on the path she’s chosen.