When Wei Lin, 18, walks into a room, he is greeted with a chorus of hello’s. He knows everyone, and everyone knows him. His wide smile is contagious. It is unclear whether he has ever had a bad day. When asked, Lin would say he is very blessed.
“The thing that made this weekend so beautiful was standing in front of the altar and seeing the many faces of all the great friends who were in the audience,” Lin said.
On Saturday, March 30, 2013, Lin was baptized, received the Holy Communion, and was confirmed into the Catholic Church with five others at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart Church at the University of Notre Dame.
He could not stop smiling. It was the first thing every churchgoer said as they offered their congratulations to Lin at the end of the service. He stood beaming in the center, the star of the show. Though he stands out in the crowd, his passion for his faith is no turn-off, even for a confirmed but questioning believer such as myself.
I watched Lin as he embarked on the last leg of his spiritual journey before becoming fully Catholic. At the Vigil, Lin professed his faith and the crowd, including myself, dutifully responded “I do” to the renewal of our own baptisms.
Lin, the product of two non-Christians from Queens, New York, knew the Catholic Church was his home the moment he set foot in it. It calls to him. He spent countless hours each week serving the Church in the liturgical choir while simultaneously undergoing the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults classes. Since the spring semester he has attended Mass twice every Sunday: the 10 a.m. for liturgical choir and the 11:45 a.m. for RCIA. Not to mention the 8:30 a.m. rehearsal and the classes in between.
“I went to a competitive high school and it was hard to find time to pursue a faith life,” Lin said. “I messed up a lot in high school. I felt Notre Dame would be a good escape from that environment.”
At the reception in the Coleman-Morse Center after his baptism, Lin hardly ate. He was busy hugging and thanking everyone at the RCIA reception for their support, and then repeated the gesture upstairs at the reception for the liturgical choir.
“I’m starving,” he said, looking at me as we headed back down to the RCIA reception once more. I looked at the clock. 1:12 a.m.
“You’re like someone who just got married!” I told him. “You haven’t stopped greeting people all night and you know everyone here.”
He smiled. “In a way, I did just get married,” he said. “I’ve finally married my faith and become closer in my relationship with God.”
It is enough to make every Catholic – heck, every Christian – who was baptized as a baby reconsider faith. If given the obstacles and the choice today, would you do what Lin did to become Catholic?