In September last year, I began weekly sessions with the RCIA team who would encourage, support and teach me throughout my journey. These weekly meetings and my worshipping at Mass each Sunday have led me to where I am now - preparing for my Easter baptism and standing in front of Bishop Bill.
When I was told that I would be meeting the Bishop, I was both nervous and excited. I felt nervous because I wasn’t sure how I should address him or act around him; and excited because it meant that I was on the final step of my journey before my baptism.
On Sunday, 10 March I, along with all the other catechumens and candidates, attended the Rite of Election at Sacred Heart Cathedral where we were to be presented to Bishop Bill. When my name was called my previous nerves completely left me. Instead I felt joyous, enlightened and proud.
Walking past the Bishop as he smiled and greeted me was a feeling like no other. It’s hard to describe exactly how I was feeling, other than to say that I truly felt that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and accepting me into His kingdom. He was in my heart and soul.
After we were all presented, we signed our name on a roll which would then be endorsed by the Bishop. As we did so, the congregation sang the hymn Sign Me Up. Hearing this as I signed the roll made me feel uplifted and encouraged. After I signed my name I joined in with the singing as the other people signed theirs. I’ve learned that it’s important to always encourage others, so having the opportunity to do so on an occasion like this was really special.
At the end of the liturgy, catechumens and candidates gathered on the steps of the cathedral for a photo. Bishop Bill joked that unlike many things in the Catholic Church this wasn’t an ancient tradition. Of course we all laughed as the camera clicked.
It’s not every day that one gets to meet the Bishop and have him approve of your baptism, so I truly felt honoured. My heart is filled with joy, love and the Holy Spirit.
I will remember this special day for years to come and am excited for what the next chapter of my life with God will bring after my baptism.