Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 21, 2005
Couple want to tell the world
RCIA is just the beginning of life of faith, they say
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
For a recently married couple from Sherwood Park, it's been a long journey to life in the Catholic Church. But they say the best is yet to come.
Having recently completed the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Andrew Davis, 37, and Janet Davies-Davis, 43, will take a major step on their journey at Easter.
They are among 230 people who will be received into the Church across the archdiocese on the Easter weekend.
"This is really a starting point for us," said Andrew. "We have a burning desire to tell the world about our faith."
Andrew, a carpet cleaner, says he wants to join the Knights of Columbus once he is baptized and attend Bible study classes, while Janet is entertaining thoughts of joining the Catholic Women's League. She is currently an office administrator with Wal-Mart and taking two theology courses at St. Joseph's College at the U of A.
On Easter Sunday, Andrew, a catechumen, wi ll be baptized, confirmed and receive First Communion. Janet, who was baptized and raised Catholic but was long away from Catholic practice, will be confirmed.
Double the pleasure
Janet said the celebration will be doubly pleasant because they could not have a Mass at their wedding.
"The team that brought us through RCIA told us we will be the only two people at Easter and we are husband and wife. They said it is a first."
RCIA team member Elsie Bruder said she is thrilled for Andrew and Janet.
"We have the two because we have gone into an ongoing, all-year process," she said. "We have three people in the inquiry stage at the moment and four others who are travelling in the catechumenate who will possibly be baptized at Easter next year.
"Until Pentecost, we will keep in contact with Andrew and Janet after each Sunday Mass. Then they will be on their own."
Andrew came to Canada from England at two-and-a-half months of age. His parents separated soon after. He grew up in Toronto and was raised by a materialistic father. He described their relationship as "basically two males in a house."
There was no female influence and little nurturing.
Andrew said he searched for something that seemed unattainable. He was unchurched but Christianity was always at the centre of his heart.
Janet was also born in England and arrived in Sherwood Park when she was two months old. She was baptized and raised Catholic but was placed in the public school system by her parents who were concerned with over-crowding in Catholic elementary schools.
The couple met through a tele-personal service. Andrew was working long hours as a carpet cleaner while Janet, separated two-and-a-half years from her first husband, was attending university to complete her bachelor's degree in education. Their paths never crossed. Andrew decided to place a personal ad and Janet responded.
They sent messages several times before Janet asked for his phone number. Their first phone call lasted eight hours.
Andrew said he immediately found Janet's devotion to her faith attractive.
"I have always felt Christian, but when you come from no faith, you figure the Church is just a place to go to," he said. "You don't have to go to have the values. There was belief in God without the structure."
Janet said she came back to the Catholic Church when she chose to do her university practicums in Catholic schools.
She wanted to observe what changes had occurred in the school system since she was a child.
"The hole in my heart is closing."
- Andrew Davis
A shift in values
"My values shifted when I returned. It was like I received an invitation and I took it," she said.
They wed Aug. 8, 2003 - the fifth anniversary of the day they met.
Janet's previous marriage in the United Church lasted 17 years and produced two children. This is Andrew's first marriage.
The couple discussed their shared Christian values in the early stage of their relationship. Janet knew she could never answer all of Andrew's questions. At that point, joining an RCIA group made perfect sense.
As fate would have it, their sponsors - Graham and Barbara Otway - had sailed to Canada from England with Janet's parents and were living in Sherwood Park and attending OLPH. They were eager to steer the newlyweds into the Catholic Church.
"One of the reasons I joined RCIA was because her Catholic faith is important to Janet," Andrew said. "It then became important for me."
Of the RCIA, Andrew said, "The hole in my heart is closing. The experience has been calming, like I was meant to be here."
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