Looking Newly Minted

We are still in Eastertime (according to the church calendar) and for those newly minted Christians, it is when they enter into Mystogogia. Mystogogia is a whole Post-Easter journey when the newly baptized are fully integrated into the Christian Community. Most people (even in the Church) think Mystogogia is only something the new members have to do. But in reality it requires participation by everyone! It means being welcoming, inclusive, nurturing, and serving as an example and a mentor. We welcomed seven or eight new people into our church on Easter. But the person I have the most contact with is a graduate student who has embraced the Catholic Church. He is so excited. He was showing me his medals before I left on vacation. He has 5 of them on 2 chains – St. Jude (his name Saint), St. Mary, a Holy Spirit medal, one of Notre Dame, and a Crucifix. He was proud to tell me about each one. I was a little worried about him earlier this year when he was struggling to find his balance and navigate the stresses of graduate school working in a high pressure lab. He managed to gain some equilibrium (and a little weight and some sleep). Then he hit a speed bump. He is trying to get his girlfriend (not fiance – yet) to take a job near the university. She is currently 6 hours away. She hasn’t found a job so has widened her search to include an area even further away. He was unhappy to say the least. He ended up in my office where I gave him an animal cracker (because sometimes it is just necessary to bite the head off something). He proceeded to spill all his woes. I think I’m a surrogate mother to many of the students. I offer them a non-judgmental ear and cookies and or chocolate (because Dementors are real and seem to feed on graduate students). But mostly he just needed to hear that hope has not died, nothing has happened that can’t be changed, and that 11 almonds in the last 12 hours is not sufficient nutrition to maintain brain function. The next day he was actually chipper. I suppose having breakfast AND lunch will make any day brighter (and the power of prayer is real)!

20 thoughts on “Looking Newly Minted

    1. I’m the “Mother Thing” – part enforcer part consoler of the injured/hurting… They flock to me. I guess it is a comfort in the cold cruel reality of “adulting” to know someone cares.

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  1. Aw, this makes me feel grateful. I’m grateful for people like you who take the time to listen to these young people and remind them of hope for better times. And I’m grateful that being undernourished isn’t one of my afflictions. You’ve given me a new appreciation of my slightly rotund figure.

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  2. I think that’s all we want sometimes, a listening ear and maybe a little sympathy. To feel understood and supported. It will be a big loss to your department when you retire. I loved the HP reference about the dementors. 🙂

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    1. Hehe! Yes I’m all about the demenentors. I worked under SWMNBN for 26 years. Most of the death eaters are gone but the dementors persist. I feel that I’m perhaps the only Professor Against the Dark Arts left….

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  3. In my 30 years spent as a Catholic, I never heard of Mystogogia. It sounds like a lovely practice and ought to cement the feeling of community, which is essential for any Faith group.

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    1. It is like any religion – those born to it are often lacking in a real education about what they believe. As a convert I learned and studied and explored on my own before committing. The Catholic faith is a beautiful thing rich in tradition… Mystogogia dated from the earliest times.

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