Published: April 7, 2016
Over spring break, sophomore Nicole Plantier was baptized, confirmed and received her first Eucharist in the Catholic Church.
Her journey to the Church began during her first year, when she saw many of her floor mates attending Mass together every Sunday.
“Religion brings everyone in as a family,” she said.
Growing up, many of Plantier’s friends were in CCD classes and were very religious.
Though she wondered why she was never baptized, the question never came up.
She added that she was not raised to be religious, and that while she always believed in a higher power, she did not understand it well enough to believe in God.
In her first theology class here, and after reading about it, she says that she came to the realization that the Catholic Church lines up with her values.
After attending mass this semester with her sponsor, sophomore Erin Ciarrocca, Plantier felt like part of a family bigger than the Scranton community.
During the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process, Plantier had dinner each Sunday with her sponsor Erin and Fred Mercadante, who directs the RCIA process at The University. They discussed the topic for the day before opening the Gospel and reading deeper into that.
When the process culminated with her baptism, first Eucharist and confirmation, she said it felt like her journey to the Church was complete.
“Before I felt like I was an outsider, just watching the ceremony, but now that I know why we do what we do, it’s more like I’m a part of it and not just a passing viewer,” Plantier said. For her Conformation saint, she chose Saint Edith Stein, the patron saint of martyrs and against the death of parents.
Known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Edith Stein was born in Nazi-occupied Poland and raised Jewish before converting to Christianity to become a Carmelite nun. She died a martyr in 1942 while imprisoned at Auschwitz. Describing St. Edith Stein as brave Plantier chose St. Edith Stein to honor her late mother.
“I chose her because, my mom, she died a couple of years ago, so I felt like it would be in memory of her to choose my saint,” Plantier said.
Though her journey to the church came to an end over spring break, her new journey as a member of the church is just beginning.
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