Conversion Stories of Catechumens & Candidates - Easter 2019

Below are the conversion stories of some of the people who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become Catholic at the Easter Vigil of 2019, along with some stories of maturing faith from adult Catholics who are receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation at Easter.  Please pray for them and may you be encouraged in your journey further toward Christ and His Church as you hear how God has worked so marvelously in others' lives!

Abdullah Albasri: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist

Abdullah.jpgI grew up in southern Iraq close to the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldeans where our father Abraham, the father of the Covenant with Yahweh, was born. It was here that I first began to question about Jesus (Messiah) from the Quran and why he is unique among all Abraham's descendants.  After the war in 2003 we escaped to Damascus where for the first time in my life I read the Bible with Assyrian friends. Then I lived in Alexandria, Egypt among Coptic and Egyptian friends.  My soul was filled with Jesus teachings and his grace.  Finally, as a refugee I arrived to Madison.  I read about Christianity and I found the Catholic faith.  The Catholic teachings strengthen my soul and my life in Jesus Christ.    

Paige Mission: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist

My family has a long Christian tradition, and I was always drawn to it. But I was Paige.jpgscared. Over the years I was told of the abuse my family suffered at the hands of the most venerated and the most religious leaders in our communities. After many years of reflection I realized that for me and in honor my family, following the light was the only way through the darkness. I decided to fully open my heart to the Catholic Church and the Lord. And in the stillness of His presence I have found pure peace and joy. I am grateful for the support of my sponsor Samantha Allison, Daniel Wilson, the Wilson family, the McNulty family, the Allison family, the Zilka family, and the RCIA team. I owe everything to my sister for breaking open seemingly unbreakable barriers for all of us and to my parents who love me, always.

Alli Omans: Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist

I was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin in a religion that worshipped our Alli_Omans.jpgancestors by delivering food, money, and sacrificing animals.  My family and I stopped practicing in the religion and my parents converted into Catholicism in 2018.  In 2009, I met my husband who was raised in a Catholic family.  My husband and I got engaged in 2013 and we got married in 2016.  From there, I decided to take interest in Catholicism and wanted know more about the faith.  I was lead to start on this path through encouragement and support from my husband, families, and friends.  I’m excited and motivated to enter the church and become Catholic. 

Bruce Bengtson: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

I was baptized into Christ in the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Minnesota.  Early on I felt a call to work for the Church through music ministry, and that was realized by the call to Luther Memorial Church, Madison, as Director of Music.  Retiring after 40 years, a new church home was needed.  Through RCIA and attendance at Holy Redeemer, I’m grateful for faithful teaching, and the presence of our Risen Lord on the altar in the midst of His people.



Tom Heikkinen: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

I was born in 1968, the fourth of five children. My parents raised us in the Lutheran Tom_Heikkinen.jpgChurch, and I have attended church pretty much every Sunday of my life. About five years ago I began a journey toward Catholicism that has been equal parts emotional and intellectual. The writings of -- and about --  G.K. Chesterton have played a major influence in my journey, as have many others, including Bishop Robert Barron, Peter Kreeft, and perhaps ironically, an Easter Orthodox priest. The Church of Rome is holding fast to the truth of Scripture and Tradition as so much crumbles under the “wickedness and snares of the Devil.” This faithful witness and the joy of Christian community is pulling me home. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.



Kassie Vaness: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

Originally as a baby I was baptized Lutheran. As a child my family and I regularlyKassie_Vaness.png attended church services and Sunday school activities. As I grew older my family and I attended church less regularly. However, I always felt strongly about Christianity and my personal faith. I started to attend Catholic mass regularly shortly after I met my fiancé, Ian. Over the last 8 years Ian and I have attended mass together and now enjoy attending mass in Madison at Holy Redeemer and St. Patrick’s.  Ian and I are getting married this coming July and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to join the RCIA program and become officially Catholic.

Shawn Young: Received into Church, Confirmation, First Eucharist

I grew up in a small Texas town east of Dallas in a conservative southern Baptist Shawn_Young.pngfamily. I was baptized and made a confession of faith when I was 13. Later, when I was in college, I met a friend who was Catholic and I started to go to Mass with his family.  It was not until now that I wanted to become Catholic and I am looking to become a part of the Catholic Church. 

Lianna DiMaso-Myers: Confirmation

I was raised Catholic but never received the sacrament of confirmation. I have always valued my faith but it wasn’t until I moved away from my parents and met my husband that it became a high priority. I started attending church at the Cathedral Parish once I moved to Madison in 2015. With our daughter on the way, I could not have chosen a better time to strengthen my relationship with God through the sacrament of confirmation.



Hailey Haas: Confirmation

I moved to Madison this past July. I have grown up in a Catholic household my entire life. While following my faith was important to me, I never took the final step in Confirmation. Now as an adult, I found myself having several questions and curiosities about my faith. All of this led me to want to deepen my connection in the Catholic Church and continue the Confirmation process. With the support of my family, my boyfriend, and my boyfriend's family, I am eager to enter life in The Church. 


Athena Murdock: Confirmation

 Shorty after birth I was baptized Catholic. As a child, my parents drifted away from attending church regularly but I do remember attending mass with my grandparents every so often. Attending church ceremonies such as mass and funerals as a child continued to interest me in the Catholic faith for better understanding of the faith itself and the meaning behind the way these ceremonies are done. Within the last two years, the friends and relationships I have formed encouraged me to continue and deepen my Catholic faith and I am eager and excited to receive Confirmation and First Eucharist this Easter. 


Robert Toomey: Confirmation

I've been a Catholic my entire life, baptized as an infant, First Holy Communion at age 7 (I polished my dress shoes at least three times the night before). One of my parents suffered a fatal illness around the time of my Confirmation preparation and as such I was never confirmed.  Over the years this has been "unfinished business."  My understanding of and appreciation for the faith, the Mass and the sacraments has deepened over the years.  I'm excited to finally receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the faith I will always have.  Better late than never!  Please pray for me.