The Easter season is a typical time when new members are brought into the Catholic Church. This year, St. John’s hosted its own Mass to initiate Rian Haigler ’19 and Alahna Sabbakhan ’19 as full members of the Catholic Church.
Haigler was receiving the final sacrament of initiation, Confirmation, making him a full member of the Church. Sabbakhan was baptized, confirmed, and received first Eucharist, making her a member of the Church for the first time.
The Mass was said by Father Luke in the chapel on April 23 after school. It began with the Liturgy of the Word, as all Catholic Masses do. Following the homily, Father Luke baptized Sabbakhan and invited her to be a part of the Catholic Church. Then, the congregation joined Haigler in renewing his baptismal promise and he professed his faith completing the sacrament of Confirmation.
Throughout the year, Haigler and Sabbakhan went through the RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation of Adults) process to prepare for their entrance into the Catholic Church. They reviewed topics covered in religion classes at St. John’s over the years. They were assisted by the Religion Department in their preparation.
Sabbakhan said, “I was interested in becoming Catholic because I already followed Christian beliefs, but never had the chance to be a part of a faith community.” Before the ceremony, she was nervous because it was a big step. “After being baptized and confirmed, I felt like a new person and I was happy I made the decision,” Sabbakhan said.
Haigler said, “I felt like I was at a place in my faith life where I understood enough about the Catholic Church and wanted to commit fully to my decision.” Haigler began his process around freshman year and was helped by Mr. Sipowicz, Father Luke, Ms. Emery, and Mr. Patzke to finally reach his goal of being confirmed.