Newest Catholics called to spread Christ’s light

  • May 14, 2007

{mosimage}TORONTO - Family and friends packed St. Michael’s Cathedral May 2 to support their loved ones who have been recently baptized and/or confirmed with the Catholic faith.

A dozen priests concelebrated the annual Mass with Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins presiding. The Mass welcomes the newest members of the Catholic Church in Toronto.

“We are sent out to let the light of Christ go out into this world,” said Collins in his homily.

He reminded the neophytes how from a single candle at the Easter Vigil, the flame was spread between neighbours until the darkened church was lit up. Now as new disciples they have been commissioned to continue spreading that light of Christ in the world.

Collins said the pastoral plan for the archdiocese of Toronto is the Acts of the Apostles. Just as the apostles were “fresh with the reality of the Risen Lord (we are to) bring the Gospel into the world with what we say and do, but especially with who we are.”

Collins had two pieces of advice for the neophytes: to live a repentant life and seek a profound experience of the Holy Eucharist.

“Do not blow out that light of Christ,” said Collins, explaining that the light cannot be shared with others if it’s extinguished. He stressed the need to go to Confession regularly because sins snuff out the light.

Secondly, he said to reach out to the light of Christ.

“If we pull out the plug, it stops. We need to be connected to Our Lord.... Celebrating the Eucharist is how we can keep igniting that light.”

Rick Walker has received the light of Christ through Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at St. Benedict’s parish in Rexdale during the Easter Vigil. He had been attending Mass at the parish since his first son was born 12 years ago.

“It was more or less procrastination. My boys were all taking Communion and I didn’t feel I was part of that and I wanted to be part of that,” said Walker, whose wife Linda and three sons had come to support him at the Neophyte Mass.

His wife, a Baptized Catholic, volunteers as a catechist in the parish. While he didn’t have any faith background prior to his Confirmation, she said her husband has always been supportive of her faith and attended Mass.

“It completes our family in a beautiful way,” said Linda Walker. “Now we’re all praying together. It feels right.”

After the Mass people congregated in the parish hall. With her prayer card in hand Ellen Clark successfully navigated through the crowd to obtain Collins’ signature and blessing. The single mom was baptized along with her six- and 14-year-old daughters at Mississauga’s Sts. Peter and Paul parish’s Easter Vigil.

“When I looked over at my girls I could see this amazing glow because there was life finally within (them),” said Clark.

Clark said when Sunday morning rolls around her daughters ask when it’s time to go to church.

“It’s put a stronger positive influence on the house.”

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