Sharon Bogusz sees the hand of God working daily, but never more than when she looks at the number of people fully joining the Catholic faith at Easter Vigil April 3.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore will welcome its highest number of people ever, as 1,081 catechumens and candidates will be baptized, receive the Eucharist or be confirmed.
Bogusz, the coordinator for evangelization and adult catechesis, looks at the 297 catechumens and 784 candidates as proof that something larger is at work.
“Without sounding too pious,” Bogusz said, “there is an ancient saying in the church that Christians are ‘made, not born,’ referring to the power of God actively working in the sacraments of the church and the sweat, love and labor of parish communities that model Christ’s invitation to discipleship.”
Such is the case with Chinese-born Lu Huang, who will join the church at St. Joseph in Odenton. Influenced by her graduate school’s president, a Catholic, Huang explored the faith. When she came to the area, she attended Mass at St. Joseph and found the homilies of pastor Father William L. Viola “soul touching.”
“He and Deacon (David A. Page)’s kindness encouraged me to be a member of this new community,” Huang wrote. “Gradually, I felt that I was ready for a step forward in my journey in faith.”
Bogusz said: “Catholics are beginning to understand that they are evangelizers. In the past, Christian life was something that was quietly witnessed; today, Catholics are engaged in proclaiming the Gospel in the silent witness of their lives and in the sharing of God’s activity in their lives.”
Bogusz said Easter Vigil is an inspiration to her and other Catholics.
“When we witness others changing their lives, giving up old ways of doing and being and committing themselves to Jesus Christ, it cannot help but inspire all of the faithful to recommit ourselves as well,” she said. “And when the members of the parish recommit themselves to Christ, the parish community is renewed.”