In solidarity with our candidates and catechumens on this unusual Easter Vigil

Father William Miller pours water over Hannah De Smit's head as he baptizes her at the Easter Vigil at St. Patrick Church, Galesburg, at the Easter Vigil last April. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The Diocese of Peoria was set to joyfully welcome hundreds of new Catholics during Easter Vigil liturgies on Saturday, April 11. To those who are in the final stage of spiritual journeys to the church that began in September (or long before) and are anticipating their baptisms, first Eucharists, and confirmations, we say: a) that we understand, now that we are all longing for the Eucharist, and b) hold on, your reception will be even more an occasion of great joy.

Perhaps in greatest solidarity are those whose plans have been most altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Certainly topping that list are those who have taken ill and await their recovery. But we also think of the students who may not have the graduation ceremonies they anticipated; engaged couples anxious about wedding plans; first Communion classes now uncertain of their celebration dates; athletes that have lost sports seasons; employees wondering if their jobs will be there when these difficult days finally pass; and, with deep sadness, the families who have said goodbyes to loved ones without the comfort of visitations or funeral Masses.

Our dear candidates and catechumens, our brothers and sisters, we know you realize and accept this unique situation. But as we welcome this sacred Easter season, also know that your family of faith cannot wait to embrace you and your unique gifts. We are waiting and walking with you. May God bless us all, especially those of us in most need, and hasten the day when we all again gather around the eucharistic table. — Thomas J. Dermody

 

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