• May 22, 2017

Amazing Grace: A Brooklyn Baptism!

by Sophia W.

May 2016: Born and raised atheist, I don’t know that I lack a spir­i­tual home. I am vaguely aware that some­thing is missing.

One spring day, I take a recently wid­owed neighbor across the street to Mass. She teaches me to pray the Holy Rosary. I learn to knot twine into rosaries. The widow intro­duces me to Natalia from Heart’s Home, who looks happy. She tells me she spends every day serving lonely, humble and poor people.

October 2016: Sister Katie asks me to teach a rosary-knot­ting work­shop. I am intrigued; she is the first living nun I have ever met. We meet at a shelter for home­less women. After tying knots, Sr. Katie starts singing “Amazing Grace” in her clear soprano. The women join in, some with great enthu­siasm. Walking home, I notice how much I have enjoyed singing. I feel my heart start to expand just a little.

I return to sing again at the shelter. We serve instant coffee, sing hymns, then Sister Katie reads the Gospel for the coming Sunday and starts to explain it. She is inter­rupted by hands waving urgently. “Sister, sister! Why does God allow so much evil in the world? How can babies die of cancer when they have done nothing wrong? Sister, what is the exact job descrip­tion of the Holy Spirit?”

Sister answers simply, patiently and with great faith. Week by week, I see God’s face in these women who have no place to call home. Watching them stir many packets of sugar into one small cup of coffee, I begin to trea­sure this weekly moment of sweet­ness.

Easter Vigil 2017: On this “night that drives away the dark­ness”, I was received into the Catholic Church – Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation all in one night! Later that week, we cel­e­brated at Heart’s Home with a group dinner. At last my heart has found its home.

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