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The RCIA Haunting

Jayme Clune at National Catholic Register

Photo by Michael Mouritz / Unsplash

After months of prayer, study and preparation, my husband and I joyfully received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist at this year’s Easter Vigil. As a newly initiated Catholic, I am grateful to fully participate in the faith and experience God’s graces in a welcoming parish community. But the journey to the Easter Vigil Mass was also filled with spiritual challenges that I did not anticipate.

Before our conversion, my family belonged to a contemporary non-denominational church, where we packed into an auditorium with large video screens, theologically weak music and a feel-good “prosperity gospel” preacher. Our two young children looked forward to the crafts at Sunday school, while we enjoyed fellowship with other young families, but ambivalence eventually crept in. Church became more like a social club than a source of spiritual nourishment and worship.

In an attempt to invigorate my faith, I began to study the history of the early Church and discovered that the beliefs and practices closely aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Intrigued, I reported my findings to my husband and asked if he would be willing to attend Mass with me, and he agreed. We were both instantly drawn to the tradition, liturgy and sacraments of the Church. After several more visits, we concluded that the Catholic Church held the fullness of Christian faith, and our next step was to become Catholic. Days later, we enrolled in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes to begin our conversion. 

Almost as soon as we began the RCIA process, we were inundated with strange occurrences in our home. Lights turned on in rooms where no one had entered. A large arched windowpane inexplicably shattered, sending thousands of shards of glass all over the floor. Our kitchen sink pipe leaked water. Our toilets overflowed. Our septic system overflowed. Our washing machine leaked water, so we replaced it. Then the brand-new machine leaked water, but the technician found no issues. Our refrigerator mysteriously stopped cooling, so we replaced it. Our air conditioner broke, so we replaced that as well. Then our new thermostat dramatically changed temperatures without being touched, and the technician could offer no explanation. Water slowly dripped from a wooden door frame. The television screen changed colors — or stopped working altogether — when we tried to stream daily Mass.