Happy Easter! At the Easter Vigil last night at my parish, thirty-two people became Catholic. It was an amazing liturgy, lasting longer than the Vigil at St. Peter’s in Rome, but it was so filled with grace that it took my breath away and left my heart filled with joy. Like many Catholic parishes in the United States, the makeup of the congregation is changing. The majority of our new Catholics last night were Hispanic, and our liturgy was bilingual.
Having grown up in Southern California, I’m used to liturgies where more than one language is used. When the Vietnamese boat people arrived, our important Masses at St. Finbar became trilingual: English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It would probably surprise some in my present church in Maryland to know that those trilingual Masses have been occurring for over forty years. The make up of Catholic congregations has been changing for decades, and so it should be.
Today, as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let us rejoice in the new life this singular event made available to us, and that means everyone, regardless of their past, their ethnic background, their age, or anything else. James Joyce said it well in Finnigan’s Wake: “Catholic means ‘Here comes everybody.'” How true, and I’m grateful to have witnessed a validation of that quote last night in my own church.
Blessings to you and yours this Easter Season.