After almost a year of preparation, James went through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) last Wednesday and then received his first Holy Communion during Mass last Sunday.
Dorothy Davis is James’ religious education teacher who has taught him lessons every week via Zoom up to this point to help him prepare for this special moment. She is a Professor of Education at Campbellsville University and a member of our church committee.
Deacon Jimmy and Therese Richerson are James’ god-parents. They have been married for over 20 years and have recently renewed their wedding vows in Jerusalem during a pilgrimage to the Vatican and the Holy Land organized by our church last year. A Catholic convert, Deacon Jimmy used to be a state police officer in Frankfort and lost an adult son (Jamie) due to suicide. Therese is my first manager at the Mission Store. She showed me the “ropes,” moving me to tears when, during my orientation, she said, “Our goal in this work is to become holier Christians.” I was getting over my illness at that time, still very weak and emotional. She lost her special-need adult son (Stevie) when he was 21 years old. Both Deacon Jimmy and Therese are exceptionally calm and soft-spoken people who have gone through many family tragedies.
Father Saju is our priest and pastor. Before coming to Campbellsville, he worked at a church in the Caribbean islands. It’s very fitting that he ended up in the United States since his seminary training was financially sponsored by an American benefactor. His English is far from perfect but our first impression of him was that he is an innately spiritual man. Both David and I like him a lot. All his homilies are very helpful and meaningful although the English is quite jumbled-up when he delivers them. The last time I was in the hospital, he called me and assured me that I would be alright because he was praying for me. Some family members of his in India are on oxygen in the hospital right now due to COVID.
This is James receiving the Host — the “Body of Christ” for the first time.
And with his family
This is the procession at the beginning of Mass.
Thank you for reading! May God bless you.