I have no pictures to offer for this years Easter Vigil (the above photo of the Pascal candle was taken Easter Sunday). There will be more opportunities in years to come, no doubt. I had a valid excuse for letting go of picture-taking.....really!
Saturday morning, as I was preparing for my family to come on Easter for dinner, the telephone rang. On the other end of the line was Fr. Perrone asking me if I was planning on being there for the vigil. That's like asking if a duck has feathers, but I gave him a simple, affirmative answer. He then told me that someone wanted to talk to me. That someone was a man that had been going through Fr. Perrone's Tuesday Night Catechism, which I was also attending in order to record. He and his wife had become more familiar with Assumption Grotto through this blog and inquired about RCIA. On the morning of this Easter Vigil, as the man took the phone from Fr. Perrone, he asked if I would be his sponsor.
I could not think of a more joyful excuse to set my camera down for one evening. So, without hesitation, I told him I would be honored. Also (don't tell anyone), it felt wonderful to take in Holy Mass from down in the pews.
After a deep discernment, the man's wife did not join him in coming into the Catholic faith, but the manner in which they support each other on the paths that they have chosen has been an inspiration to me. While they will worship in different houses each Sunday, they give me reason to ponder many virtues, chief among them - charity. Religion can be a testy thing in a marriage and sometimes people err in trying to force a spouse to go one way or the other. It takes courage and very strong love to follow one's own conscience while allowing others to exercise the God-given free-will all have to follow theirs.
It was love for her husband that brought his wife to Assumption Grotto to support him in his decision. My new found friends told me that this experience has made their marriage even stronger. I believe it. This practice of virtue - of love, charity and respect for each other extends to their adult children who also discern the paths before them.
I rejoice with all of those received into the Catholic faith at Assumption Grotto this year, as well as those who came home in parishes around the world. Deo Gratias! We must keep all converts and discerning people in our prayers.
Note: I have purposely left out details that would deprive this couple of their anonymity in cyberspace.
Edit: With her permission to point this out, the man's wife has a blog called, Haunted by the Holy Ghost. You will note in the sidebar, that she has a deep affection for Assumption Grotto, as revealed in the many links and references she has among other, non-Catholic links. There, she talks about her and her husband's decisions.