by Marc and Julie Anderson
TOPEKA — It’s not every single day a mom and daughter be a part of the Catholic Church collectively — one for the primary time; the opposite after a lapse of a few years. However Kimberly and Kayleigh Smith, members of Sacred Coronary heart-St. Joseph Parish right here, did simply that final month.
On April 3, the Smiths grew to become full-fledged members of the Catholic Church. And whereas the 2 girls had completely different motivations for enrolling within the parish’s Ceremony of Christian Initiation of Adults program final fall, each had been thrilled to have discovered their household in Christ.
Born in 1973, Kimberly’s religion journey has not been the normal one. Baptized as an toddler, Kimberly made her first Communion within the early Eighties. For the following 4 years, she participated in CCD lessons alongside together with her friends.
Across the time she was within the sixth grade, nevertheless, she moved in together with her father. (Her mother and father had divorced when she was 5 years previous.) Though her mom’s facet of the household was Catholic, her dad was not.
“I moved in with my dad and had the Pentecostal publicity,” she stated, including he got here from an extended line of Pentecostal ministers.
Within the early Nineteen Nineties, when Kimberly was round 17, she returned to the Catholic custom, however was by no means confirmed. And although for the following 30 years she sometimes went to Mass together with her aunt or mother and father, she by no means actually immersed herself in her Catholic religion.
It was solely when she and her husband divorced, that she started to comprehend how a lot she wanted her Catholic religion.
“Up till he and I divorced about 4 years in the past, I’d go to church with my aunt . . . however I used to be not a closely working towards Catholic,” she stated.
However their separation modified all that.
“I relied closely on my religion after we divorced,” confessed Kimberly.
This previous fall, when her daughter Kayleigh determined to enroll within the RCIA program, the timing appeared proper for her to return as soon as and for all to her Catholic roots.
“When Kayleigh wished to transform and be baptized and the whole lot,” stated Kimberly, “I simply thought it was an superior alternative for me to go forward and do my affirmation and renew my religion within the Catholic Church.”
At age 23, Kayleigh stated being a part of a church household is one thing she’s longed for practically her whole life. Rising up, she recollects going to Mass together with her maternal grandmother.
“We might sometimes go to church with them,” stated Kayleigh. “I bear in mind going to Midnight Mass, or if I’d stick with my grandparents for per week, we’d go to church then. However that’s just about all I had rising up, simply going to church periodically.”
As she grew up, Kayleigh stated she’d hear tales of different individuals’s church experiences. In time, she realized how a lot she longed for a church household, however extra importantly, a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I’ve all the time wished to have a religion,” she stated. “I’ve all the time wished to have a relationship with God.”
Kayleigh stated maybe what lastly satisfied her to take the following step and enroll within the Ceremony of Christian Initiation of Adults may shock individuals. Presently enrolled at Washburn College, she is majoring in historical past. Historical past, she stated, is what led her to the Catholic Church.
“So, I’m learning all these religions (e.g., Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity), attending to know them, and I used to be like, ‘I would like my very own. I wish to belong to a faith,’” she stated. “I simply felt like I wanted to have that reference to God in my life.”
Whereas Kayleigh was learning religions and infrequently going to Mass with relations, Kimberly, too, skilled comparable emotions of disconnectedness, emotions which regularly returned when she sat within the pew at Mass throughout Communion.
As a result of she had made her first Communion, she stated she knew what she was lacking — the physique, blood, soul and divinity of Christ.
“I’d go to Mass, not obtain Communion and simply really feel empty,” she recalled.
Though it’s exhausting to say which lady was extra excited that night time, Kimberly had double the explanation for pleasure.
“Once I went again to Communion [and confession] once more,” she stated, “it was very fulfilling.”
Nonetheless, watching Kayleigh proved to be extra of a spotlight for her.
“I wasn’t scared or nervous as a result of I had been [baptized as a baby] and raised Catholic for a part of my life,” stated Kimberly. “So, I used to be excited for myself, however [as a mother] I used to be much more excited for Kayleigh.”