meyer

Jeremy Meyer is confirmed by Father LeRoy Scheierl during the Easter Vigil at St. Paul Church in St. Cloud April 4. Photo by DianneTowalski/The Visitor

One family’s journey of faith

By Dianne Towalski
The Visitor

Jeremy and Thi Meyer have been attending Mass at St. Paul Church in St. Cloud for the past two years. Their daughter attends All Saints Academy. They have lots of friends at the parish. But they didn’t feel completely part of the faith community.

That is, until the Easter Vigil.

The Meyers, along with their children — Bryan, 12 and Brianna, 7 — were among the 17 catechumens and 87 candidates around the St. Cloud Diocese who officially joined the church during the Mass April 4.

“I really want to be part of the Catholic family,” Thi said just before the vigil started. “I’m looking forward to being part of the community and belonging, since it took so long for us to find our place.”

meyer3

Thi, pronounced “T,” Meyer brushes her daughter Brianna’s hair before the family heads to St. Paul Church for the Easter Vigil April 4. Photo by Dianne Towalski/The Visitor

Born in Vietnam, Thi grew up Buddhist and went to the temple with her mom even after coming to the U.S. at age 5. “My mom went to the temple most Sundays, and I would go, but I didn’t fully understand because they spoke only Vietnamese,” she said. “They said, ‘Just follow along.’”

Jeremy was raised Catholic and attended Mass with his family growing up, but was never baptized. He went to religious education classes as long as he could before he had to produce a baptismal certificate. “I just never pursued it after that until we decided as a family to do it together,” he said.

When they moved to the area five years ago, Jeremy and Thi wanted to be part of a church community and attended services of many denominations, always with Catholicism in the back of their minds. “We searched until we found one that really fit,” Jeremy said. “[St. Paul’s] was like what I was used to growing up. It felt like home.”

It was a long journey, but “it was worth it and we’re here,” Thi said.

At the Easter Vigil the family received the sacraments of baptism and first Eucharist. Jeremy and Thi were also confirmed.

“We’re just thrilled that they are part of our parish family now,” said Deacon Dave Lindmeier, RCIA coordinator at St. Paul Parish. “Now we’re going to be going through Mystagogy and to see how the Spirit will manifest itself in ministry, and them being with us is going to be so neat,” he said.

meyer2

Brianna holds a candle during the procession with the Paschal candle. Photo by Dianne Towalski/The Visitor

Mystagogy is the period after Easter when new Catholics discover what it means to fully participate in the sacramental mysteries of the church.

The parish has embraced them. “The people there make it really inviting,” Jeremy said. Since Brianna attends All Saints Academy, the family already knew some of the her classmates and their parents.

“They made us feel very welcome.”

More photos in April 10, 2015 edition of The Visitor.