• April 23, 2014

Welcome to the Church, dear friends!

Brendan and Angelo

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!

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