Updated: May 6, 2022
The following story appeared in the April 29 Idaho Catholic Register.
One was the pastor of evangelical churches throughout the Intermountain West, who later became so discouraged he ended up agnostic and alcoholic.
Another grew up in a home where one side of the family was rabidly anti-Catholic while the other side included a man who was recently declared Venerated by Pope Francis.
Two were students who determined Catholicism was true in the quiet of their own apartments by watching YouTube videos and reading Catholic blogs.
Two families escaped a civil war in Burma and life in a refugee camp in Thailand before coming to Boise, meeting each other, marrying and later, mother, father and two children were received into the Catholic faith.
The journeys are as varied as are the people and their circumstances, but the destination, in the end, was the same: the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church that in an age of increasing secularism still has the power to draw searching minds and hearts.
This issue of the Idaho Catholic Register spotlights the stories of just some of the hundreds received into the Church during the Easter Vigil in the Diocese of Boise. Some wrote their own stories, while others were interviewed to let us summarize their stories.
Their stories, while different, confirm the message shared by Bishop Peter Christensen during his Easter message at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist: “Jesus is among the living.”
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” the women are asked by the men who appear to them in St. Luke’s Gospel. “He is not here, but He has been raised.”
The truth that He lives and moves in the hearts of His people is repeated over and again with each baptism, with each Confirmation, with each first reception of the Holy Eucharist, with each marriage validation that takes place at thousands of Easter Vigil Masses across the globe.
By Dale C. Schiro
MERIDIAN – I was baptized an infant in the Episcopal “High” Church in my hometown of San Diego. My fam-ily regularly attended Mass throughout most of my childhood. I did not do well in the public school system, but was very fortunate to attend fifth and sixth grades at All Saints Episcopal School. The smaller class sizes and the healthy, loving environment helped me to heal and grow in many ways. I felt safe and loved the way every child should be. My grades and happiness improved exponentially.
I received Confirmation at age 12 and was given my first cross necklace, which I still always wear. My class-mates graduated to attend the nearby Roman Catholic St. Patrick’s School. I was heartbroken having returned to the public school system due to our family’s lack of financial resources. My family fell away from the church in the years to follow.
In spite of having touched base again with the Episcopal Church in my early 20s and later attending numerous non-denominational churches – often playing drums on their worship teams – I had come to know sin too well and made many deeply regretful offenses. That safe and loved feeling from my childhood had been long forgotten. The modern churches I attended did not offer an effective means for reconciliation. I always felt some-thing was missing. I longed for the sacraments.
I married in 2004 and moved to Boise in 2006. Even though I was attending Calvary
Chapel, I began listening to Boise’s Salt & Light Catholic radio station on a regular basis.
Where was I to go? The Episcopal Church – “Catholic Lite” – that I once knew and loved had encountered a heartbreaking amount of schism over the years. One of its replacements, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), was still considerably new and low on resources especially here in Idaho. I checked into RCIA at the closest Catholic Church I could find and discovered everything I had known and loved in the Episcopal Church and much more.
I had been told that because the two churches had so much in common, it would be as easy as crossing the street for an Episcopalian to become a Ro-man Catholic. Not so. At least it wasn’t for me.
Anyone seeking to enter communion with the Catholic Church should be ready to do battle with the enemy. He will use whatever means he can to trip you up. I was not prepared for that. My life derailed, and I dropped out of RCIA. I found myself grasping for alternatives to Catholicism hoping any one of them would suffice, but nothing compared to the fullness of truth that had been revealed to me in the Catholic Church. I was devastated after dropping out of RCIA. I felt as though the answer to all of life’s questions had slipped through my fingers, never to return. I hung on, however, continuing to listen to Salt & Light Radio, reading Catholic literature, and using the vast resources available online, including my Formed.org account.
A few years had passed. I felt a deepened need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Alone one evening, with my cell phone on the nightstand playing a soft rock station in the Pandora app, I found myself gazing at the crucifix on a holy rosary that I had hanging on the wall. I was overcome with sorrow for my sin. I poured my heart out to Jesus. “Lord, I love you so much, and I am so sorry for my sin. Please help me.” Then, He blessed me. The most beautiful music fell upon my ears and touched my soul. The Pandora app station had switched to Byzantine Chant. It was not my doing.
Awakened by what appeared to be a miracle, I knew I would, someday and somehow, complete the journey to full communion with Him in His church. I felt I was being led by His love. My last attempt had been utterly disastrous. I was scared and alone, not connected with a congregation like most of us are. I did not have a friend within the church to whom I could talk. It was an awful feeling being an outsider, especially while knowing and feeling like I was already Catholic to the bone.
But eventually, God began to use other people in my life to pave the way and remove obstacles. I was led to a wise Catholic counselor who recognized the spiritual warfare I was experiencing and gave me a daily prayer prescription: the Auxilium Christianorum (a set of prayers said once daily), the Holy Rosary once daily and the Angelus, three times a day. This “prescription” conquered demons for me.
One thing led to another, and I was back in RCIA and confirmed at Easter Vigil 2021.
That safe and loved feeling from my childhood has returned along with joy. I have never been more grateful for my savior Jesus Christ and His loving, caring Church.
I am now a member at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral Parish, the Knights of Columbus, Knights on Bikes, and an usher. I meet every Saturday morning with my Cursillo friends where we share our piety, study, and action.
If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.