Wow... That is pretty much my biggest thought as I sit here right now trying to sort through all my thoughts and feelings. I'm here. I'm within the bounds of the visible Church on earth. I'm Catholic. It still seems crazy, but I'm so filled with joy peace and I know it is where I belong.

The easiest thing to sort out is what all happened last night, and then maybe I'll be able to sort out some of my thoughts and experiences about the whole thing.

So I got to church at 4 pm yesterday and found the lady who was standing in for my sponsor. We were all sitting around and kind of chatting as we were waiting for everyone to arrive. It seems like we all had pretty similar emotions, excitement, anticipation, for everything that was going to happen. Then the lady in charge had me and the other guy who was to speak practice out thing in front of the group.

By that point, most of the group had arrived, so we opened in prayer and then listened to the gospel reading for the day and talked about it a bit with the people at our table. Then we again quickly went over how everything was going to go, when to stand, what to say, all of that kind of stuff. And then over to the church!

The first part of the Mass was pretty normal. We started just sitting in our seats at the front of the church and went through the liturgy of the Word like normal, listening to the readings. Only it wasn't normal, soon I would be fully Catholic!

After the homily all of us who were to make a profession of faith along with our sponsors were called to the front of the church. We stood there, with our sponsors behind us, and Monsignor asked us if we believed all that the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims to be true. We responded "I do!" Then Monsignor officially welcomed us into the Catholic Church.

After that the people who were to be confirmed stood as their names were called and then we all stood and Monsignor prayed for us again. Then we received the Sacrament of Confirmation. One at a time we walked up to Monsignor, who made the sign of the cross with the oil on our foreheads as he said "receive the Holy Spirit" and I responded "Amen," then he said "Peace be with you" and we responded "And also with you." The smell of the oil is wonderful, but more on that later. Three couples were then married in the Church.

So then Mass continues on as normal with the prayers of the people, the offering, and then the Liturgy of the Table. So we get to Communion time and finally I get to walk up to Monsignor, hold out my hands, hear "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen" and receive Jesus. Then I walked over to the EMHC and receive the Blood of Christ. Just an amazing experience overall!

Mass continues and then ends and we processed out in front of the priests. I met up with my friends on the side walk and we went over to the small reception. I got my certificate that says I'm fully Catholic, ate a piece of cake and hung out for a few minutes. Then my friends took me out to eat.

So that is what happened. I'll try and sort out my thoughts and feelings about it all more in my next post.

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