Rather than have class last night, the RCIA team helped with a service project. This included entertaining an 11-year-old girl—who wound up entertaining us more—but in the midst of our treasure hunt, there was also prime opportunity for bonding between the volunteers.
I try not to discuss my commute to the parish much, especially around people I don’t know, but inevitably someone will bring it up. “You come from where?” they ask, and I simply shrug away my one-hour trip, saying I started the program when I lived closer and would prefer to finish it there.
But last night, my teacher laughed at that response. “She didn’t even live here before,” he said, which isn’t false—I was still a half-hour away, even before I moved.
One of the other volunteers turned to me and asked, “How did you end up at this parish?!”
I paused for a moment. My hesitation made the others chuckle. I had to come up with a quick answer, so I offered the easiest excuse—I blamed my sponsor. (Sorry, friend.) “Although,” I added, “he doesn’t go here, either.”
On my hour-drive home, which is completely silent now that my car’s radio is broken, I considered the question further. How did I end up there? My sponsor is the easy reply, but it’s not completely true. (Hey, you can’t get all the credit.) It could’ve also been the friend whose advice I sought in beginning who, when she couldn’t answer my questions, provided the names of priests I could talk to. It could’ve also been that one priest I ended up consulting, which makes the most sense because it is his parish. But that doesn’t fully answer the question, either, because I didn’t come to him on my own.
Ultimately, it was a joint effort. It was my sponsor, who first invited me to a Catholic event. It was that friend, who freely admitted she couldn’t help and sent me to someone who could. It was that priest, who talked with me for three hours one afternoon and said I was “basically already Catholic.”
It was all of you. That’s how it’s done—all of us, working together, for His sake.
Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God’s service. For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth. —3 John 1:5–8