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Michael’s Faith JourneyMichaels Journey

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by Deborah Early

When Michael entered Misericordia Home, he had attended church but was not Catholic.  We encouraged him to attend Mass and participate in any religious events on campus.  Michael immediately became interested in the Mass and was intrigued with the concept of carrying the cross.  Father Jack told him there was a long wait list.  After a few years and a lot of pestering from Michael, Father Jack explained that he had to be Catholic to serve at Mass.  Michael’s response?  “How do I become Catholic?”  When asked if he really wanted to do that, he expressed an interest in learning more about it and then making a decision.  

Following this interesting statement, a number of devout and loving staff members stepped up and offered to work with Michael on this exploration.  For over a year, Michael met for ½ hour every Tuesday with a lovely woman on staff who has since moved on to her vocation as a nun.  She answered his questions, big (“what does the body and blood mean?”) and small (“why does Father Jack wear all those different colored scarves?”), and guided him on his faith journey.

One day on the Misericordia campus, I lost sight of Michael and found him engaged in a discussion with Father Jack about when he could become Catholic.  A beautiful ceremony was planned, and at the 4PM Mass on August 26, 2017, Michael was baptized, took his first Holy Communion and was confirmed.  This Mass was attended by about 40 of our friends, many of whom had never attended Mass or even entered a Christian church.  They were amazed by the spirit exhibited by the residents in attendance and deeply touched by the community which Michael now embraced on a new level.  We are so proud that this was his own decision, reached after his own period of discernment.

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