Holy Week & Easter Liturgies
Kelly Fisher, left, is engaged to marry Emanuel Silva in May at St. Edward Church.
'I'm going to know the right way to do things'
Kelly Fisher is preparing to receive the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil, and the following month, with Emanuel Silva, the sacrament of Matrimony.
Fisher, 25, was brought up in the Presbyterian Church, but not baptized. Her parents left the choice of religion in which to be baptized up to their daughter and her two brothers when they became adults.
When Kelly met Emanuel Silva's family, his mother couldn't understand that.
"She knew I was of a Christian background," she said. "His mom asked me, 'Are you baptized?'"
Maria Silva is from Portugal. She didn't understand the notion of allowing the child to decide at adulthood. "The first thing a parent needs to do is baptize their child," Fisher remembers Maria Silva telling her.
When her brother was having brain surgery, Fisher had some questions about baptism for her sister-in-law's father, who is a Lutheran minister.
He told her he could baptize her.
But, he counseled, "I don't think you should be baptized right now by me."
He suggested she seek baptism as a Catholic. "You should raise your children in the same faith," he said.
A week later, she asked about faith formation opportunities at St. Edward Parish in Newark.
"We go to faith formation classes every Wednesday," she said. "When I first started, it was a group of eight and it keeps building and building."
She has appreciated the knowledgeable teaching team, led by the pastor, Father Jeffrey Keyes, CPPS, and Sister Mary Mark Schoenstein, OP, and two seminarians.
Strong formation is building her confidence.
"I'm going to know the right way to do things," Fisher said.
"I am growing in the Catholic faith," she said. "I don't want to miss Mass. I feel it completes the week, and it's a great start for the next week."
Her faith formation journey has received encouraging support from her fiancé and his family. She recalled that eight family members attended a faith formation class with her.
Also encouraging are her fellow parishioners. "After every Mass, someone always comes up and says 'Congratulations,'" she said.
Fisher and Emanuel Silva knew each other in high school, though they went to different schools. They became a couple after she was graduated from Ashford University in Iowa with a bachelor of science degree in biology.
She attended the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion on March 9 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
"I just felt like it was a beautiful experience," she said, "but I missed St. Edward's. St. Edward's feels like home to me."
In addition to her RCIA classes, she and her fiancé attend marriage preparation classes on Sunday afternoons. "You can complain that it's two and a half hours long, but my fiancé and I love it," she said. "We recommend it to people getting married."
At the Easter Vigil, Maria Silva will get the answer to "Are you baptized?" She has been journeying along side Fisher, as her sponsor. In one month, her godmother will become her mother-in-law.
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