First, I would like to point something out in these guys’ testimonies. Like everyone else I’ve seen go through RCIA, the road to the Catholic Church begins long before RCIA. The reason why most people even look into Catholicism in the first place is because there was a Catholic in their life who invited them to Mass. Or there was someone in their life willing to really talk with them about Jesus. Or there was someone who could answer their questions about the Catholic faith. Or the person in their life who listened to them and cared about them also happened to be Catholic.
So I hope these testimonies not only help you to get to know the candidates going through RCIA, but I also hope they encourage you to reach out of your comfort zone and have a conversation with a friend or coworker about Jesus, invite someone who isn’t Catholic (or who no longer practices) to come to Mass or a Holy Spirit Encounter with you, or simply listen and be present to someone in need of God’s mercy. And please continue to pray for Jared, Seth, and Dennis as they complete this process of catechesis, discernment, and prayer.
Hello, my name is Jared Lewandowski. I am from and currently live in St. Johns but went to high school in Fowler. I graduated in 2014. My family has had a mix of both Lutheran and Baptist teachings throughout however, speaking for myself, I have not really had a close relationship with God or had much care regarding my faith until recently. Because of this I have had numerous falling outs with God in my time. These falling outs have been major definers of my life previously and, admittedly, still are to an extent.
However, over the past five years, despite these falling outs, I have been slowly rekindling whatever relationship I had with God and building upon it. This is all thanks, in large part, due to a few close friends of mine that are a part of the Most Holy Trinity Parish. Becoming Catholic, to me, at this point is not just a starting point on my journey in this life but an openness to its end. The further I dive deeper into the faith the more I simply can’t wait for the day that I can, hopefully, stand before God and be received into His Kingdom. But to reach that end, like I alluded to, I must begin. To some extent I have but I have been taught that action must meet intent for intent to have any meaning outside of any one person. And with that, Confirmation and my first Communion, I am excited to say, will serve as those clear actions to my intent to do God’s work here so I can be with Him once this life reaches its end.
My name is Seth Nelson. Most of you would probably recognize me if I was standing next to my wife, Kayla, who is your music director. In short, the reason I’m in RCIA is that God has revealed truths to me that I cannot deny. God has led me toward Catholicism over the course of the last three years, but there were hints and pushes that I can see all the way back to my childhood, when I was really drawn to some mysteries of the faith. I was raised Lutheran, and by high school and college I felt more and more drawn to God and zealous after His heart. Now, after asking lots of questions and finding more answers, I am looking forward to being able to partake in the Eucharist as a Catholic soon, to further what Christ has started in me and to become more sanctified. Becoming Catholic is the next part of where He wants me to go, and I know I still have much more ahead of me in my faith journey. I am looking forward to what God has in store for me and how he will work through me to further the Kingdom with the gifts he has given me.
Hello, my name is Dennis O’Hare. I have been part of the Fowler community for over 22 years now. I grew up in a small town near Buffalo, New York. I came to Fowler to do an internship at Rich-Ro Dairy and wound up never leaving! I have always loved this area, and the people that live in it. My wife Kim (Simmon) is from Fowler, and we have been married almost 16 years. We have been blessed with three children, Liam (15), Grace (13), and Jack (9). My family belonged to the United Church of Christ when I was growing up, but we did not attend regularly. With my wife and kids being Catholic, I have wanted to be able to share in their experiences with the church, but I was hesitant to do so. Since starting RCIA classes, I have learned a great deal, and I am excited to see where the future takes me. This definitely feels like the beginning of a wonderful journey that I never expected to be on!