Welcome to the Catholic Church - Part IV
Dear Parish Family,
Just a week from now, our RCIA candidates and catechumens will be fully baptized and confirmed members of the Catholic faith, and will be joining with us each week in the miracle of the Eucharist. We hope you’ll consider coming to join us at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, April 16, at 8 p.m. Today we round out our introductions to our candidates with Alexander and Jake, two wonderful young men who both share the engineering profession.
Alex Schnackenberg, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday the day after Easter, was raised in the Mohawk Valley and was a member of the Reformed Church of America. With the keen mind of an engineer, Alex always wanted to understand the “whys” and “hows” of the teachings of Christianity. He says that the Reformed Church did a great job forming the core of his Christian faith, but left him longing for more substantial teaching.
In 2018, Alex moved to Glens Falls and, by dating a Catholic, got up close and personal with the faith that would become his new home. In Catholicism, he says, “I found a much richer discussion of all the issues that had bothered me as a young man. It’s a shame,” he says, “that so many people are cut off from the fullness of the Church.”
In September, Father Tom witnessed Alex’s marriage to Kate, the love of his life, whose love, he says, brought him to this faith and gave him the strength to persevere in it.
Alex hopes that “the Church will become efficient in expanding the reach of its message, so that message will stand out as the clearest signal among all of the noise today.” To that end, Alex is a new volunteer for the livestream ministry and sits at the controls of a broadcast that goes out to an audience of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) every week.
Jake Zanoni, an engineer at BD (Bard), was born and raised in Glens Falls along with his sister Barbara. It’s likely that you’ve seen Barb, Jake and their mother Kathleen sitting together on the Civic Center side of church; they’re here every week.
In the back of his mind, Jake always felt a regret about missing his Confirmation when he was a teenager. A part of his initiation into a faith that he loved was missing, but he wasn’t sure what an adult who grew up Catholic but was missing that Sacrament could do about it.
This winter, he was in the assembly when our seven RCIA Candidates and Catechumens were blessed by our community as they approached the final stage of preparation for their initiation. In that moment, he wondered, could this process be the way that I complete my initiation and resolve what has been incomplete in my life? And the answer was yes.
After getting to know Jake better, we could all see that he was filled with faith and was eager to grow further in his relationship with the Church. All agreed that there was no reason to delay – Jake was ready for his Confirmation and full initiation in the faith.
Jake has a robust love of the life God has given him. He loves nature and music and is well on his way to becoming an Adirondack 46’er. So far he has 19 peaks under his belt. He tells me, “I’ve done the easy ones, so now the really hard ones await!”
Please join your prayers this Holy Week to those of Jake, Alex, Amanda, Annieke, Arthur, Ilona, MaKenzie and Andrew as God guides them forward on the path of faith.