Anthony and Sarah Pate were both raised in the evangelical tradition. Two of their three children had been baptized, but Lincoln, 9, had not. So, the Pate family celebrated a special day this past Easter when Anthony and Sarah — along with their children, Nora, 16, and Maddox, 14 — received First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Lincoln was also baptized.
It was Anthony who wanted to look more into Catholicism as the couple was both exploring their faith. He had attended Mass many times as a child with his grandmother.
“About a year ago, he told me that the only church he would attend was a Catholic church,” Sarah says. “I told him I wasn’t sure I landed in the Calvinist camp, but I definitely could not be Catholic.”
Sarah decided to look more into what Catholics said about the faith instead of listening to the misconceptions.
“I was surprised to find that once I started learning what the Church actually teaches, it began to make a lot more sense,” she says.
The whole family started attending Mass and enrolled in Becoming Catholic, formerly known as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) in the fall. When Sarah and Anthony found out that their children could receive all of the Sacraments of Initiation, they decided to go through the Becoming Catholic process together.
“Everyone was in agreement that this was the faith we wanted to explore,” Anthony says.
Nora appreciated that her questions were always answered by the end of the classes. Maddox liked that he really learned more about the faith, and Lincoln enjoyed getting to know the priests.
Maddox and Sarah both enjoyed learning about the Eucharist.
“I could go on and on about everything I learned, but the theology of the Eucharist is what truly won me over,” Sarah says.
Anthony enjoyed learning about living by the liturgical calendar.
Of course, the culmination of all of the classes was receiving the sacraments at Easter and truly becoming Catholic. Maddox even described it as “surreal.”
“It was the fulfillment of a healing journey that I’ve been on for 20 years,” Anthony says.
“Outside of receiving the sacraments, I think what touched me the most was the Litany of the Saints,” Sarah says. “Hearing the names of our Confirmation saints along with all the others sung in petition for intercessory prayer made me realize that I was being welcomed into a spiritual family that’s much larger than I had ever imagined.”
The family is appreciative to Jeri Potter for serving as their sponsor. They especially enjoyed her sense of humor.
“We appreciate the thorough catechesis we received at Holy Family,” Sarah says. “The people we have met in the last several months, from clergy to other families in the parish, have welcomed us in such a beautifully authentic way. We are incredibly grateful to God that He led us here.”
Becoming Catholic is also open to those who have already received the sacraments of initiation, but are interested in learning more about our faith. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Catholicism, please have them reach out.
To enroll in the Becoming Catholic, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the parish office at 918-582-6247.