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US Catholic Church finds astonishing variety of people joining this Easter
cna ^ | April 19, 2011

Posted on 04/19/2011 2:46:06 PM PDT by NYer

Catholics participating in the Easter Vigil. Credit: Mazur

Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2011 / 02:52 am (CNA).- A Muslim, a family of seven, a marine, a former abortion clinic administrator – these are just a few of the many faces of people from around the country who are slated to join the Catholic Church at Easter.

The U.S. bishops' conference recently profiled a handful of unique stories from individuals in different states, each of whom will be either baptized or confirmed during the Church's universal celebration of the Easter Vigil on April 24.

Although the numbers are still trickling in for this year, the conference reported that in 2010, there were over 43,000 adult baptisms in the U.S. and more than 75,000 people received into full communion with the Church.

Soon-to-be baptized New Orleans resident Ahdija Cheumbike Baker was raised a Muslim. The daughter of a Detroit man and a Tanzanian woman, Baker is one of the 282 catechumens and candidates that the Catholic Church in New Orleans will be welcoming at Easter.

Baker said that she struggled with some of her Muslim beliefs throughout her life and that ultimately,  the “love of the Lord” as well as a love interest drove her to start attending a local Catholic church, St. Peter Claver.

She said that especially after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, “I felt compelled to look for a church to call home so that I could give my thanks to God.”

“If I had gone to a church that gets you in and out in 45 minutes, I probably wouldn’t have changed my religion; but at St. Peter Claver I feel a deep connection. The way that the priest speaks in his homilies moved me. I felt at home and accepted, and they have become my family.”

Eighteen year-old Kalene Laforest is a Marine and feels compelled to join the Catholic Church before going on assignment in June. A catechumen at St. Peter’s Church in LaGrange, Georgia, LaForest said that she wanted a faith with depth, history, deep spirituality, tradition, and “no all-over-the-place craziness.” She is among 1,912 who will join the Catholic Church in the Atlanta archdiocese this year.

Across the U.S. in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, a family of seven will be welcomed into the Church. James and Michelle House, who are parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, will come into full communion at the Easter Vigil. In the following week, infant David, 2 months old, will be baptized, while his siblings Kristina, James, Alexandra and Joseph will be received into the Church.

Michelle House said the family, who are former Episcopalians, found a welcoming community at St. Catherine's when they moved to northern California.
        
In Austin, Texas, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and author of the bestselling book “Unplanned,” is getting ready to enter the Catholic Church.

Due to a personnel shortage at the abortion clinic she used to work in, she was called in to assist in an ultrasound-guided abortion for the first time in September 2009.

The next few minutes changed Johnson's life irrevocably, as she watched the 13 week-old baby –whom she had believed to be incapable of feeling anything– squirming and twisting to avoid the tube into which it would be vacuumed.

Shocked by what she had seen, Johnson still initially continued her work running the clinic and promoting its work. Just a few weeks later, however, she was in the nearby office of the Coalition For Life, telling its director Shawn Carney –with whom she was well-acquainted, from his years of opposition to Planned Parenthood–  that she could no longer continue helping women have abortions.

Johnson and her husband have grown in their faith during the past year, and are now preparing to enter the Catholic Church. In a Jan. 13 interview with CNA she said that one of the final obstacles, in the course of her Catholic conversion, was the Church's teaching on the immorality of all artificial methods of birth control.

Planned Parenthood's mentality toward contraception, as she explained, stuck with her for a period of time even after she rejected abortion. Even as she became interested in the Catholic Church, she clung to the notion that artificial birth control was an advance for women and society. But she kept an open mind, studying Pope John Paul II's “Theology of the Body” and other sources of Church teaching.

An experience in a Catholic parish finally made her understand the fullness of the Church's teaching on sexuality.

This time, the vision of a child was not shocking, but profoundly life-affirming.

“One day, we were sitting in Mass … I was sitting behind this woman, who I don't know, and this little infant.” Gazing at that child, Johnson said she finally understood the Church's insistence on marriages remaining open to new life.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/19/2011 2:46:08 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Joyous Easter ping!


2 posted on 04/19/2011 2:46:49 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
I wonder how many of these converts are coming from the Episcopal Church or other religions that are pro-choice or who have openly gay clergy.
3 posted on 04/19/2011 2:50:39 PM PDT by bwc2221
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To: bwc2221
I wonder how many of these converts are coming from the Episcopal Church or other religions that are pro-choice or who have openly gay clergy.

I was Presbyterian, and I'm doing it.
4 posted on 04/19/2011 2:53:42 PM PDT by BikerJoe
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To: NYer

“Soon-to-be baptized New Orleans resident Ahdija Cheumbike Baker was raised a Muslim. The daughter of a Detroit man and a Tanzanian woman, Baker is one of the 282 catechumens and candidates that the Catholic Church in New Orleans will be welcoming at Easter.”

I hope she keeps her head on her shoulders.


5 posted on 04/19/2011 2:57:54 PM PDT by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: BikerJoe

Welcome, BikerJoe! I believe Scott Hahn like you came in from Presbyterianism. The conviction that you are experiencing the fullness of the faith will never leave you.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!


6 posted on 04/19/2011 3:02:18 PM PDT by jobim
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To: jobim

Amen!


7 posted on 04/19/2011 3:13:58 PM PDT by georgia peach (georgia peach)
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To: bwc2221; BikerJoe
I wonder how many of these converts are coming from the Episcopal Church

The article cites one family and no doubt there are more in other dioceses across the US.

James and Michelle House, who are parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, will come into full communion at the Easter Vigil. In the following week, infant David, 2 months old, will be baptized, while his siblings Kristina, James, Alexandra and Joseph will be received into the Church.

Michelle House said the family, who are former Episcopalians, found a welcoming community at St. Catherine's when they moved to northern California.

BikerJoe - Welcome home! - One of my favorite EWTN programs is The Journey Home, which airs on Monday night at 8 pm. Host, Marcus Grodi, also a convert, invites a convert each week to describe the path that led to their conversion. I will never forget Fr. Terry Kraychuk, a biker who freewheeled across the US, living on the drugs he sold (carried in his head light). You can hear his amazing story by scrolling down to program #337 at this link. Enjoy!

8 posted on 04/19/2011 3:26:00 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Congrats, God Bless, AND WELCOME, WELCOME HOME!:)=^..^=


9 posted on 04/19/2011 3:31:28 PM PDT by Biggirl ("The Best Of Times, The Worse Of Times", Charles Dickens)
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To: BikerJoe

Welcome home.


10 posted on 04/19/2011 3:45:51 PM PDT by tiki
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To: NYer

Viva Christo Rey!


11 posted on 04/19/2011 4:30:48 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: BikerJoe

Congratulations! I’ve always thought that there should be a group of Dominican biker Priests traveling from town to town evangelizing at local parish barbecues btw.

Welcome home BikerJoe!


12 posted on 04/19/2011 5:23:36 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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To: BikerJoe

Welcome home, Joe! God bless you!


13 posted on 04/19/2011 5:25:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
Thousands Joining [Catholic] Church at Easter in US [Catholic Caucus]

14 posted on 04/19/2011 5:28:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BikerJoe

Welcome.

You have my prayers.


15 posted on 04/19/2011 7:00:27 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray. For all the latest, check out: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/)
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To: BikerJoe

BikerJoe:

Welcome to full communion with the Catholic Church. I am always amazed by the quality and committment of Christians who come into Rome.

On the other hand, I went to the National Catholic Distorter [Reporter] and read a blog by Fr. Reese, S.J. commenting on those Catholics who leave the Church and what you find in that blog is people who rail against abortion, women’s ordination, same-sex marriage and the Catholic Church’s staunch defense of traditional orthodoxy. The hatred and dislike by those “Catholics?” towards the late Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict is really sad.

Most of the “ex Catholics there at the Distorter” want the Church to conform to them, which is nothing other than idolatry.

In the end, using an NFl draft analogy, the Catholic Church is getting many of the best and committed Protestants, including many Clergy, Academics from Universities and committed laypersons who want to embrace the great history of Christian tradition, most of those who have left the Catholic Church want to create something new.

I like who the Catholic Church is gaining. So again, welcome aboard.

God Bless


16 posted on 04/19/2011 7:30:10 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: NYer

A hundred plus at my church for catechism section on palm sunday.


17 posted on 04/19/2011 9:59:32 PM PDT by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: BikerJoe; CTrent1564
BikerJoe, thank you. As a cradle Catholic, I thank you for bringing your faith and deep belief to enrich us. The Church is a community of believers stretching back to the Apostles and each person who comes to the Church brings their own unique gifts and prayers and grace. You are a blessing on us.

Thank you

18 posted on 04/19/2011 11:36:43 PM PDT by Cronos (Christian, redneck, rube and proud of it!)
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To: bwc2221
Well, four of us here. We splashed across the Tiber years ago, after the Piskies went completely bonkers in GC 2003.

Some folks need a little more time. I can tell you it's hard for a sixth-generation Episcopalian to pull up stakes and move.

Especially when it's sometimes hard to find a Catholic parish that is as solemn, traditional, and beautiful as a high church Piskie parish. We are greatly blessed to have a very orthodox and traditional NO parish nearby, as well as an actual Latin Mass FSSP parish. But also within our orbit are a couple of kinda tacky 'social justice' Eagles Wings places. I think they mean well, but I kind of shudder when I go there. Still, as somebody said this morning on FR, no matter how bad it is, Jesus still shows up.

The good news is that the FSSP parish and the orthodox parish (and other orthodox parishes like it) are thriving, while the goofy heterodox parishes . . . not so much. And I think people are seeing the writing on the wall.

19 posted on 04/20/2011 5:14:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: BikerJoe

Welcome home (from another recent Tiber-swimmer, in 2004).


20 posted on 04/20/2011 5:15:12 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: CTrent1564
I've always said that the Church should negotiate a trade with the Episcopalians.

We'll take the high-churchers, the musicians, and any other folks who still believe in the Nicene Creed.

They get Fr. Reese and his ilk, the National Catholic Fishwrap, Oregon Catholic Press (and we'll throw in the St. Louis Jebbies for free), and all the pantsuited lapel-pinned radical feminist nuns. And a heretic to be named later.

21 posted on 04/20/2011 5:19:03 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
Thank You and God Bless all of you who expressed their joy at my joining the Church.

I've watched my old church sway in the breeze of fads, while the Catholic Church just says "Sorry. We'll miss you if you choose to leave, but THIS is what it means to be Catholic, and if you don't want to do that, then don't be Catholic. We'll be here when you change your mind and we'll welcome you back."
22 posted on 04/20/2011 5:27:43 AM PDT by BikerJoe
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To: BikerJoe
That's it!

As C.S. Lewis said, we don't see the Church as Screwtape sees it, arching across all history and terrible as an army with banners . . .

. . . but sometimes we get an inkling, and this is where it is. Glad to have you here!

23 posted on 04/20/2011 5:31:39 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother

AnAmericanMother:

That is good trade, lets see if we can get it done before draft day next Thursday!!!


24 posted on 04/20/2011 7:14:28 AM PDT by CTrent1564
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