Holy Week & Easter Liturgies
Stacey and Julie Newray — daughter and mother — are entering the church at the Easter Vigil at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont.
'A joy to go through this with my mom'
Stacey Newray is in loving company when she is baptized at the Easter Vigil at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont. Also coming into the church is her mother, Julie Newray.
"It has been a joy to go through this with my mom," Stacey Newray said. "We are very close and to share our love of Christ and the Church together has been amazing."
Stacey Newray said her journey to the church began two years ago, when her grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died just a little while later.
"I had many questions at the time, and I remember wanting to talk to a priest, but life got in the way," she recalled. "I went to Palm Sunday that year with a friend of my mom's and loved the service. I felt a sense of peace when I walked in.
"The following year we ended up at Palm Sunday again with the same friend and again I felt that same sense of peace," Stacey Newray said. "I just knew at the time that I should be a part of the church."
Her mother, too, had been touched by the Palm Sunday Masses. Julie Newray had never been baptized, but had been a seeker most of her life. As a child, she walked to Sunday School at a Baptist church; she attended Presbyterian church; she studied with Mormons; worked at a Unitarian church; and took theology classes in college.
She had been attending Mass over the years with a friend who told her, "You're really a Catholic, you just don't know it yet."
Julie Newray told her daughter, "I was thinking I'm going to join." Her daughter's response: "I was thinking I was going to join."
"We're both doing it on our own," said Julie Newray, "but together."
Stacey Newray said she has received support along the way from both her mom and her sponsor.
"Father Matt (Vellankal) and Father Brandon (Macadaeg) at Holy Spirit have been very warm and welcoming," Stacey Newray said. "Every time I see Father Matt he remarks that we are getting closer and closer."
Closer can sometimes seem far away. "As it gets closer, it's like being 13 and waiting for your 16th birthday," said Julie Newray. "It takes forever to get here."
The faith formation classes have been an important part of their preparation. "Deena Benton and Deacon Bill Drobick have been very supportive and patient with me as my mom and I ask a lot of questions," Stacey Newray said.
As she looks forward to the Easter Vigil, Stacey Newray has this in mind, " I will fully be a child of Christ after my baptism."
Julie Newray says she looks forward to the Easter Vigil, and receiving the sacraments, and "to keep going from there."
"You have a direction and a purpose," she said.
back to top