Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Apr
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Adding in the missing piece

Posted By April 4, 2013 | 12:49 pm | Lead Story #2
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By Tanya Connor

Michael Miller was one of three people who were baptized and confirmed and received their first Communion Saturday at the Easter Vigil at St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Boylston. Three others received one or two of the sacraments.
Asked why he made that choice, Mr. Miller replied, “When I have children I want them to practice that religion. I feel if I’m not practicing, how am I going to teach them to practice it?”
For the last four years he’s been going to Mass at St. Mary’s with Katherine Tedford, whom he is to marry in October, he said. But he said he didn’t go every Sunday.
“Huge difference in how you feel” after the Easter Vigil, he said. “More committed, wanting to practice it a lot more.” Now that he understands more and can receive the Eucharist, he feels the point of going to Mass more, he said.
Cheri Capalbo said she gave her children the option of joining the Church, an option she hadn’t had.
Their pastor, Father Paul J. Tougas, said he gave her husband, Christopher Capalbo, an option. He explained it this way.
When Mr. Capalbo was asked to be godfather for his brother’s baby, who was being baptized at St. Mary’s, Father Tougas said, “I will let you be the godfather if you will do something about your own family.” (He’d witnessed the Capalbos’ marriage, but their children were never baptized.)
“We’ve always seemed to have had somebody” to initiate into the Church at the Easter Vigil, Father Tougas said. “We do personally invite them to become Catholic” when they attend Mass or baptisms.
“I was not adverse to it,” Mrs. Capalbo said. She said she was not brought up with any religion, and wished she’d been given a choice in the matter, so she gave her children that choice.
“They both loved it – going through the classes and everything to do with it,” she said. “It meant a lot to them if I did it as well.” So she did – for their sakes and because she wanted to, she said.
Father Tougas said Sister Charlene O’Leary, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary who teaches religious education at St. Mary’s in Shrewsbury, instructed 13-year-old Kylie one-on-one. Connor, 8, studied with the first Communion class at St. Mary of the Hills.
A couple months ago Father Tougas baptized both children. At the Easter Vigil they received their first Communion and their mother received all the sacraments of initiation.
Christy Williams also received all three sacraments at St. Mary’s Easter Vigil.
“I grew up Baptist, so I was Christian before, but my husband is Catholic and we’re raising our children Catholic,” she said. “We moved to the area three years ago. … We liked that church – the congregation and Father Tougas.” She said she’d considered becoming Catholic, and with a nice parish and priest she wanted to go forward with it.
Her mother was Catholic, her father Baptist, she said. Her sister became Catholic when she married and her brother is still Baptist. Their grandmother wanted them to make their own decision about baptism; their church baptized adults and older children.
Her decision came to fruition Saturday when she was baptized, confirmed and received her first Communion.
Also confirmed and receiving her first Communion Saturday at St. Mary’s was Beth Hebert. She said she was baptized Catholic as a baby, but not catechized.
“I realized that I was my own person now … and I decided that I wanted to get back in the Church, so I went for it,” she said.
“A little piece of me was missing. My grandparents go every week. I had lived with them at the time, and I decided to go back. Being in church is so peaceful. You walk out and you’re at peace and I like that feeling.”