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)!