by Natalia Fassano, volunteer in Brooklyn
“I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Twice during this Easter Vigil, our hearts leapt with joy at the sound of these words. After over a year of serious preparation and many a year of faithful and God-given friendship, Brendan and Angelo came home to the Church and received Jesus’ body for the first time. Every Sunday, we bring Holy Communion to Brendan’s grandma and Angelo’s wife; and this tiny little Piece of Bread absolutely vulnerable and entirely given out as nourishment can definitely attract thirsty hearts!
“I am so happy! I am so happy!” Angelo kept repeating. And Brendan’s radiant smile cried out exactly the same thing. The superb liturgy at the St James Cathedral, the presence of their family and friends from Farragut Houses and of the St James parishioners, all added up to the excitement of this long-desired sublime moment.
Like Peter and John, and James and the others who received the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room, Angelo (who took the confirmation name Matthias) and Brendan (who has now added James to his) went back home transfigured into new men. On that holiest of nights, a new sign of hope shone brightly! Many times when we see people’s reactions at the mention of the names of the Brooklyn housing projects we visit friends in, I can read the Nathanaelian ‘Can-something-good-come-out-of-Nazareth?’ faces; and my heart cries out with Philip: “Come and See”! There’s gold in the mud! The transforming Light of Resurrection gleams right here and right now, cunningly hidden in our housing projects!