Thanks to The Curt Jester, I found this terrific piece on some Utah folks who found their way back to church via the death and funeral of John Paul the Great. Including a seminarian candidate.
Tilley marveled over the devotion of the crowds in St. Peter’s Square and arose in the night to watch the live funeral broadcast, even though he had long before stopped attending the Roman Catholic Church with his mother, immersed himself in the Baptist and FourSquare churches and wandered from the pews altogether.
“Catholicism was on the news all the time, 24-7 Vatican coverage,” says Tilley. “When he died, I totally felt like we lost something unbelievably special.”
But Tilley, 24, was not prepared for what happened next. He was seized, day and night, by the conviction that he must become a Catholic priest.
“I could think of nothing but the priesthood,” says Tilley.
Diane Seiler of Brigham City says the pope’s death brought to the surface her long-held, vague feeling that she should be Catholic, the faith in which her husband and mother were raised.
“I was just sad, very sad,” she says. “I felt cheated.”
A year later, she is completing the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults class at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Brigham City, and will be baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Her husband is active again in his faith, and their 14-year-old daughter, Haley, will join her mother in receiving the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation at Easter. Haley was baptized as an infant.
There are several other stories – a really nice piece.
Buster told me last year, when he was working at the rectory, that we should anticipate Easter Vigils all around the world welcoming in (or back) folks who were evangelized during the deathwatch and funeral of JPII and the election of Benedict XVI.
Seems he was prescient.