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Archives Candidates, catechumens prepare for sacraments

April 17, 2019

By Shawn Ryan
Contributing writer

MORRISONVILLE – For most Catholics, the choice to join the Church was one made by their parents, and all they know of their baptism is what they see in pictures or hear about in stories. Even memories of the earliest sacraments are often merely faint vestiges, diminished by the passage of time.

But there are a number of people each year who enter the faith as adults or young adults, through the RCIA process. For these people, the choice to become Catholic is solely their own, made often after a lifetime of searching and finally finding the faith that they wish to call their home.

For a sizable cadre of people at St. Alexander’s Parish in Morrisonville, this Easter will mark their entrance into the Catholic faith, after months of RCIA study, prayer and reflection. The group consists of 15 candidates and five catechumen. A catechumen is someone who has never been baptized in a Christian faith, and a candidate is someone who has been baptized but has not celebrated the rest of the sacraments.

They will complete whichever Sacraments they haven’t achieved, from Baptism through Confirmation the evening after Easter Mass, emerging from the process finally as full-fledged Catholics.

One of the catechumens is Lauren Waldron, who will be completing the RCIA process with her daughter Isabella Soucia, a candidate. Waldron was baptized but wasn’t a practicing Catholic, but she married her Catholic husband in a Catholic ceremony. That was the start of opening her up to the idea of finishing her sacraments, and having her daughter do so as well.

“I met my husband, and we were married Catholic, so I feel like I had the tail end of the sacraments, but didn’t have the middle,” said Waldron. “When we started doing our marriage classes, Isabella was allowed to go to the children’s classes, and she had a lot of questions I couldn’t answer.”

When she decided to pursue the Catholic faith, Waldron gave Isabella the choice of becoming a Catholic as well, and she jumped at the chance.

“She really made the decision that she wanted to be Catholic, and she’s helped move my drive forward,” said Waldron.

For catechumen Vanessa Branch, who is coming from the Episcopalian faith following a husband and son who are Catholics, the transition feels totally natural. She met St. Alexander’s’ pastor, Father Scott Seymour, through a sister-In-Law after moving to the North Country from Louisiana.

“It’s just felt like I should be here…like I was drawn here,” she said. “I’m where I need to be. I never knew I could feel so strongly about knowing I’m in the right place.”

She said that she had always wanted to join the Catholic faith, but after another furtive start, she knew it would happen when the time was right. That time is now.

For Branch and the other catechumen and candidates, the time will be the evening following the Easter Vigil at St. Alexander’s. Along with just the power of joining the Catholic Church, the community that they have found at St. Alexander’s is a large part of the transition that they are making.

“I think that this is the best place to be. The family here at St. Alexander’s just opens its arms to you,” said Branch.

Once the current RCIA class receives their sacraments following the upcoming Easter Day vigil, Sister Deepali Bankar, a Sister of Christian Charity and the parish’s formation director, will once again begin canvassing for next year’s RCIA class, to hopefully welcome more new Catholics to the ranks of the faithful.

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