Friday, June 29, 2012

From my kitchen

Readers have asked what became of the bucket of black raspberries that I plucked from our woods last Sunday. Well, after the hole from the rusty nail puncture healed in the bottom of my foot, I decided to bring the canning kettle, jars, rings and lids up from the basement and make some jam.

There is something ethereal about opening a jar and enjoying the fresh vegetables or berries you harvested in the summer while it is snowing and cold outside. Canning is time consuming, but in my opinion it is worth it bringing fresh food into your home year-round.

For the apprehensive, it is quite easy to do and requires berries, sweetener, pectin and calcium water, depending on the brand of pectin used. Cook the berries and calcium water down, mashing as you go. Boil for a couple of minutes, add your sweetener, that was previously mixed with the pectin and again, bring it to a boil.

 Remove from heat. Ladle into sterilized canning jars, top with warm lids and rings--place in water bath canner and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Remove to cool on towel covered counter-top. Jars are done when you hear the distinctive 'ping' as they cool.

Jam will last a year on the shelf, three weeks in the refrigerator after opening.

I used pure Wisconsin organic honey in my recipe and the end result was my best batch of jam ever! The aroma in my kitchen lasted for days!

Why don't you give canning a try? You might just love it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Incredible Gluten-free Lemon Poppy seed cake

We were invited to a friend's house yesterday for dinner and they asked me to bring the dessert since I have celiac disease. I stumbled upon this recipe and tweaked it a bit to make it gluten free. Thankfully, I baked this before I stepped on the rusty nail and ended up being sidelined for the remainder of the day.

The end result was exquisite--poppy seeds punctuated with the fragrance of lemon, and the richness of mouthwatering butter.

This decadent cake does keep for a few days, but probably won't be a concern as the only thing remaining was a few crumbs.

  • 2/3 cup sugar
    8 large egg yolks
    1 large whole egg
    1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
    1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/4 t xanthan gum (unless your flour already contains it)
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    Pinch of salt
    2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
    1/2 cup poppy seeds 

You can dust with powdered sugar or use this simple glaze.
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F Butter and flour an 8-inch fluted Bundt or tube pan generously. (The cake will stick to the pan if you eliminate this step) Butter the dull side of a 10-inch piece of foil.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the sugar with the egg yolks and whole egg at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy, about 8 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch over the egg mixture and fold in along with the pinch of salt with a rubber spatula. At medium speed, beat in the butter, then beat in the poppy seeds.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover tightly with the buttered foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (If you are using a larger pan, check to see if it is done after 35 minutes. ) Remove the foil and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely before serving, at least 30 minutes.

    Whisk together confectioners sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Pour glaze over warm cake, spreading it with a spatula to drizzle over edge. Let stand until glaze is set, about 15 minutes.

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Communing with Nature--Ouch!

    They looked magnificent and undoubtedly, the early Spring was responsible for the bumper crop of tart, juicy blackberries. Like I do every Summer, I donned old Levi's, a long sleeved shirt, socks and shoes and headed into the woods on our property--bucket in tow.

    One by one, the bucket began to fill with the shiny berries, leaving their wine colored stain upon my fingertips. As beads of perspiration began forming on my brow, the mosquitoes suddenly realized they had company. From miles around, they sought me out--biting through my clothes, piercing my wrists, attacking my fingertips, ears and neck.

    Yes, I did forget the bug spray.

     Not to be dissuaded by a few pesky bugs, I scratched a little and foraged further into the woods, filling the bucket another couple of inches.

    Soon a buzzing sound taunted my solitude and as I swatted, the corner of my eye spied yellow jackets and horseflies. If I don't bother them, they won't bother me, I rationalized.

    I used the time as a prayer--thanking God for his bounty, praising Him for his grace and mercy on us the past six difficult years. The perfect berries, many of them twisted among thorns that scratched my hands as I picked, reminded me of these days of intense trial. We have bled, we've struggled, but there, like the free berries, was God's sweet gift--we only had to look for the treasure.

    Pushing through brush, thorns, and poison ivy (I am not allergic), it was apparent that the best berries were in the thickest portion of the woods--darker, damper and less tortured by the relentless sun. The bucket was nearly full and as I swatted away a few spiders that were crawling up my legs and arms, I stepped down and immediately the piercing pain stopped me in my tracks. Setting the bowl down, I lifted my foot and yanked a rusty nail from the base of my shoe--blood soaking my sock, and I knew I was done.

    Hobbling home, the searing pain and wet sock made the one acre walk seem like five miles, but I made it without spilling a single berry.

    After a shower, some first aid on my already swollen foot, the berries were rinsed and ready for jam making--but perhaps that will be done tomorrow, as I guess God's message for me today is to elevate my foot and rest.

    A good lesson for me though, never walk into the woods and pick berries wearing Crocs--from now on, hiking shoes are in order. Despite the injury, I am every grateful for the gift of the fruit.

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    After the Rain

    And the earth groaned for moisture
    Flowers bent and parched
    dust covering the land
    brown grass weeping on the cracked soil

    And then, the rains came
    and nature danced for joy

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Come, journey into the Sacred with my Mary Garden

    For ten years, we have kept a Mary Garden tucked in a corner of our front yard. It began as a labor of love to help me recover from the death of my mother who died 18 months after my father. Through our sweat and wrenched muscles, we broke through the hardened earth, carried the clay and piled yards of fresh soil into the crevasse. My husband and son hunted our property for rocks to stack into the shape of a small grotto and we shopped together for a state of Our Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Carefully, I chose plants to honor her life such as:

    "Picture her eyes (Forget-Me-Nots), her hair (Maidenhair Fem), her five fingers (Potentilla). Think about her apparel: her smock (Morning Glory), her veil (Baby's Breath), her nightcap (Canterbury Bells), her gloves (Foxglove), and her shoes (Columbine). Remember her attributes: Mary's humility (Violet), the fruitful virgin (Strawberry), Mary's queenship (Virgin Lily), Mary's Flower of God (English Daisy), Mary's glory (Saint John's Wort), and Our Lady's Faith (Veronica).

    Think about her life: The Bethlehem Star (Bellflower), the Christmas Flower (Poinsettia), Lady's Bedstraw (Dianthus - Mary used bedstraw to prepare a bed for Jesus), the Epiphany flower (Chrysanthemum), the Flight into Egypt (Fig Tree - legend says that the Holy Family ate the fruit of this tree during their flight into Egypt), Our Lady's Tears (Lily of the Valley - tiny white nodding bell-shaped flowers can be likened to a train of tears), Our Lady's Tresses (Asparagus Fern - legend holds that at the foot of the cross, Mary, in. deep agony, tore out a tress of her hair which Saint John preserved), Mary's Bitter Sorrow (Dandelion), and the Assumption (Hosta - Plantation Lily blooms at the time of the Feast of the Assumption)." 

    Go here for more information Mary Gardens

    I planted what I could find around our area in Wisconsin and prayed as my fingers worked the soil, and while weeding, watering and tending the spent blooms. Hail Mary! Full of Grace. The Lord is with thee........Through this garden, I wept for the loss of my earthly mother, Bonnie Rose and wept for the relationship I did not yet have with my Blessed Mother.

    Along the way, and through the years, as the tears began to dry for loss of my mother, Mary emerged, shining, as my Eternal Mother, showering me with comfort and love. Each day, those precious moments in the garden offered me clandestine time with Mary; to ask for her guidance, be with me and watch over us. Even ten years later, the garden continues to serve as sacred space for me. Mary is there. She envelopes me with her beautiful Mantel and allows me to cry without reproach. She knows my inmost secrets, desires, longings and each of my mistakes; and continues to love me without question.

    This year is the most bittersweet of all as we are forced to sell our beloved home--our sacred space. The setting where we opened this space to family, friends and strangers to sit at our table, to hold their hands, to listen, cry and pray over a myriad of issues. 

    Because my heart is heavy, the Mary Garden reflects my simple gift back to the wildlife on our property. Each native member of the wild kingdom has enjoyed our property as their safe haven--we house them, feed them, watch and love them. So, in lieu of specially chosen plants, seeds were planted to give the hummingbirds and butterflies a delightful space of their own--their own sense of the Sacred. The growth is slow, but steady--I am anxious, but the butterflies and hummingbirds are patient to wait until the harvest is ready.

     I have much to learn from our wildlife.
     It was and continues to be difficult to traverse this life without my mother, Bonnie--but through her passing, I began to rely on my Heavenly Mother and develop a relationship that I never realized I needed so much. 

     Incredibly, while cultivating my garden, Mary cultivated a relationship with me. Thanks be to God. 

    I miss you Mom and think of you every single day--I always enjoyed planting flowers with you!

    Kenosha Catholic school model gets high marks

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    For several years, it seemed as if Catholic education in Kenosha County would follow the country-wide trend – the shuttering of parish-run schools. studentlaptopsEighth-grade students, left to right, Mady Scopp, Raul Mr. Chavez-Gutierrez and Leah Castillo work on laptops at St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s middle and high school campus in Kenosha, in this photo taken during the 2011-2012 school year. (Submitted photo courtesy St. Joseph Catholic Academy)In 2008, plans for an affordable educational model began when then-Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan made the collaboration of community-wide resources the focus of his strategic plan for Catholic schools. Since July 2010, the Kenosha Collaborative for Catholic Education developed a model to sustain Catholic education for Kenosha and the surrounding area.
    After St. Peter and Mt. Carmel/St. Therese schools closed in May 2011, All Saints Catholic School opened for K4-8 grades in the fall on two campuses, replacing the former St. Mary and Holy Rosary grade school locations.
    St. Joseph Academy opened in fall 2010 to educate Pre-K through grade 12, on two campuses, with the consolidation of the former St. Joseph High School, St. Joseph Inter-parish Junior High and St. Mark Elementary School.
    While the transition was difficult for students, faculty, staff and generations of families who appreciated the intimacy of parish-run schools, all 10 Kenosha and Pleasant Prairie parishes agreed to financially support both school models. This model would allow for a greater pool of resources and make education more affordable.
    School officials hoped the Catholic community would not only accept both models, but that the schools would become sustainable. However, no one expected just how successful both models would be.
    Enrollment numbers rising
    Wrapping up its first year, All Saints Academy added 60 new families to initial fall enrollment numbers, bringing the total to 454 students. Nearly 100 new students are registered for the 2012-2013 school year, with predictions of a 550-member student body.
    Word is getting out regarding the quality of affordable Catholic education at All Saints, according to principal Jackie Lichter. She is pleased with the renewed enthusiasm for Catholic education, as well as the pronounced school spirit evidenced by the number of families wearing spirit-wear and attending school functions.
    “The children are very proud of All Saints Catholic School,” she said. “We have started a number of successful programs, such as cheerleading with more than 40 girls, track and field, basketball, volleyball and now football. We have a chess club with more than 70 students involved, and have hosted a citywide chess tournament. Our two campuses come together for Mass on a monthly basis, attend field trips together, pen pal, Skype and share projects.”
    Teachers from both campuses gather weekly for meetings, staff development, curriculum planning and faith formation. This semester they viewed Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” as a staff and reflected on their own faith journeys.
    “The teachers and staff members are outstanding,” said Lichter. “They have fully embraced the changes and have formed a close community. Teachers volunteer to help out before and after school, and are often present at weekend events as well. I feel so blessed to be serving such a highly committed, dedicated and faith-filled group of educators. They are leaders.”
    Catholic parents look for options
    With layoffs and larger class sizes in the Kenosha Unified Public School System, some Catholic parents are looking for options in educating their children. While there were families open to Catholic education, most were not prepared to make the financial commitment until the changes in the public school system were unveiled. studentsgoggles
    “This has led them to take the next step toward Catholic education,” said Lichter. “We have made ourselves available in the community through a variety of ways, such as parish outreach Masses on Sunday. Some are members at one of the 10 parishes and others are looking for a parish to join. When a Catholic family not connected to a parish registers for the school, I spend some time talking to them about their options and sharing with them the different charisms present in each parish. Usually I follow this up with a call to a pastor in hopes that a connection can be made.”
    With support from the Kenosha Catholic community, All Saints is thriving. Five priests teach in the school and eight priests celebrate Mass with the children.
    “We have spent the year learning about the patron saints of the 10 parishes,” said Lichter. “The Catholic Women’s Club and Serra Club have invited me to come and talk about the school, which has helped bring the school to the community and vice versa. We get together monthly with the administrators from St. Joseph Catholic Academy to continue to build up the presence of our Catholic schools in the community.”
    Students also participate in a variety of local service projects, and raising funds for local organizations. Recently, students raised money to fund the tuition for a boy who lost his mother to cancer.
    Students are excelling academically
    Academically, students are excelling, with the student body scoring in the 70-95 percentile.
    “Fr. Dwight Campbell teaches our eighth grade religion classes and often comments on what a ‘bright group of students they are,’” Lichter said. “We took first place in the Academic Bowl and have won a variety of awards for both academics and in the arts. We (had) a fifth grade musical (in) May. I am so grateful for the progress we have made. God is truly present here at All Saints through our children, our parents, our teachers, staff, board, priests, deacons and religious sisters.”
    In its second year as the new legal entity of St. Joseph Catholic Academy, principal Edward Kovochich is pleased with enrollment of 753. The figure represents a 22 percent increase, up 14 percent this year with a 5 percent increase anticipated for next year.
    “The whole City of Kenosha for Catholic education is very nicely stabilized,” he said. “All Saints is doing well, and St. Joe’s is everybody’s high school, so we pick up the All Saints students. The reality for Kenosha Catholic is that we have met Archbishop Listecki’s litmus test of accessible, affordable and sustainable Catholic education. With this model of collaboration, I can send my son or daughter to a K-8 or 9-12 system or a K-5, middle school and high school model. You just don’t see that everywhere.”
    New this year is the inclusion of laptop computers for each student in grades five and up. Originally, laptop computers were provided for grades six and up, but staff determined that offering the computers to younger students would help them in the transition from the lower K-5 campus to the middle and high school campus.
    ACT scores highest in Kenosha County
    In addition to shared facilities, the academy offers an in-depth curriculum that includes 21st Century learning skill styles. The academy has an extensive foreign language component, including Spanish, French, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese available for all K-12 students.
    studentsFourth-grade student Ellie Bernhardt looks over second-grader Lyla Zapp’s shoulder in a classroom at St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s lower campus in Kenosha in this photo taken during the 2011-2012 school year. (Submitted photo courtesy St. Joseph Catholic Academy)“Academically, the students are doing very well, in fact, at our Board of Counselors in May, we (showed) that our GPAs reflect almost 80 percent of our students are above 3.2. Our ACT test scores are the highest in Kenosha County over all public and private schools,” said Kovochich. “Our in-house statistics indicate a slight increase again and we will keep pushing the bar on this. We also maintain electronic portfolios all predicated with curriculum maps and skill sets that become artifacts and give the children a selling point as they go off to college.”
    As with All Saints, Catholicism is immersed in school life, whether academically or in extracurricular activities. Student, staff or teacher-led prayer precedes all meetings, classes, sporting events and other activities; in fact, a sixth grade science teacher recently joked to a surprised Kovochich that prayer was also institutionalized.
    “I guess they were studying physics and fossils and they forgot to start with prayer, so one of the students brought it up,” he explained. “So that makes me happy because the students are realizing the importance of prayer being the focus and center of all that we do.”
    Model capturing nationwide attention
    Kovochich believes students who learn in a Christ-centered atmosphere will become strong Catholic adults.
    The 10-parish supported education model is capturing the attention of Catholic schools across the country, and Kovochich and school president, Robert Freund host presentations on Skype explaining the model to school officials.
    “We tell them not to just rearrange the deck chairs; there are so many things that can be changed to collaborate Catholic education and make it faith-centered and sustainable,” said Kovochich. “We have a strategic plan and a depth in our curriculum and student life with timelines of 247 items that we hope to accomplish in the next two to three years.”
    All Saints tuition is lower than the tuition at St. Joseph Academy, but Kovochich hopes that once the archdiocese recognizes the stability of both school models, that tuition will be regulated across the board.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Children lead fathers into church at Easter Vigil

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    Two fathers from St. Agnes Parish, Butler, taking their children’s lead, P1-04-07-12-CHN--29Clarence Hayes holds his 1-month-old daughter, Laila Hayes, as she is baptized by Fr. Timothy Bickel, pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Butler, during the Easter Vigil Mass at the parish on Saturday, April 7. More photos taken at the Easter Vigil can be viewed and purchased at (Catholic Herald photo by Allen Fredrickson)set the spiritual course for their families during the April 7 Easter Vigil.
    Michael Schultz and Clarence (Clay) Hayes not only entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, but each made the journey alongside his children.
    While Mike, a 49-year-old construction worker, had attended weekly Mass with his wife, Debbie, for 20 years, the longing to belong wasn’t strong enough to embrace the church, until his son Patrick began asking questions.
    “As Patrick got older, he began asking me why I don’t go up there with Mommy and things like that,” said Mike. “I never really knew how to answer him. He would also ask a lot of questions about Mass and I wasn’t able to answer them because I had no religious teachings.”
    While Mike was baptized as an infant, he received no formal religious training, and it wasn’t until he began dating Debbie that he learned how important her Catholic faith was in her everyday life.
    “I began attending with her very early on in our relationship, and she would often ask me to become a full Catholic, but she never pushed the subject,” said Mike.
    Happiest time of life was short-lived
    He came close to joining when the couple belonged to Our Lady of Good Hope Parish where now-Bishop Donald J. Hying was their pastor.
    “He made Mass easy to understand for me and I looked forward to going every week,” Mike said. “At the time we struggled with infertility issues and had several miscarriages, but we were finally pregnant and life seemed perfect. The day of Pat’s birth was the most exciting day of my life. It was also the happiest time of my life, however it was short-lived.”
    Just three days after their son’s birth, his 52-year-old mother was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, dying before Patrick’s first birthday. Mike was angry with God and could not comprehend why they were finally blessed with a child, and at the same time, were losing his mother.
    “I didn’t know my father, never even had a relationship with him, so my mom was everything to me,” explained Mike. “Fr. Don noticed that I was no longer attending Mass with Deb and told her time and time again that he would be willing to talk about it with me. When I did feel ready to go back to church, Fr. Don explained that it is not for us to understand in this life; that God has a reason for everything and some day in heaven, it will all make sense.”
    Longing for faith returned at St. Agnes
    After Bishop Hying left Our Lady of Good Hope for his work as rector of Saint Francis Seminary, Mike lost his zeal for the faith, although he continued to attend Mass each week. Last July, the couple joined St. Agnes Parish and through the leadership of the pastor, Fr. Tim Bickel, his longing returned.04-07-12-CHN--25Anna Hayes is baptized by Fr. Timothy Bickelduring the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Agnes Parish in Butler on Saturday, April 7. Looking on from left to right are Jean Baughman; Clarence Hayes, Anna's father; Brian Wolf and Megan Wolf, Anna's godparents. Megan and Clarence will be married next year. More photos taken at the Easter Vigil can be viewed and purchased (Catholic Herald photo by Allen Fredrickson)
    “I started enjoying Mass and looked forward to going every week,” he said. “So, on my own, without even telling Deb, I talked to Gerry Wolf (Christian formation director) about the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program. After a few discussions, he thought I was ready, so I started taking the classes in the fall.”
    Throughout the program, Mike realized he no longer had to carry the burdens of his life on his own. He learned to understand life and death more, and now turns to God for all of his needs.
    “He is always there. I am no longer angry with him for my mom’s death. I understand she is in a better place and I will see her again,” he explained, adding. “I have also learned that I can be vulnerable and that’s OK. I don’t always have to be the big, strong, macho man. I can give it all to God and he will take care of it in his own way, in his own time.”
    Father, son share special moment
    At the same time Mike was preparing for first Eucharist and confirmation, Patrick was also preparing for first Eucharist. Jim Stout, parish music director, suggested the evening would be extra special if father and son received first Communion together at the Easter Vigil.
    “I had not thought of it, nor did I think it was ‘legal,’” said Mike. “I asked Gerry, who in turn got permission from Fr. Tim. This is something that the two of us will always have as ‘ours’ and it was truly special for me.”
    For Patrick, the option to forego first Communion with his classmates or receive it with his dad at the Easter Vigil was an easy one. After all, he had been praying for this day nearly his whole life.
    “When he told me that Fr. Tim gave us permission to receive it together, I was so excited,” he said. “It means a lot to me that my dad and I received Communion at the same time. My first Communion is so much more special because I got to receive it with my dad.”
    Although he was proud of his dad and excited for the big day, Patrick admitted he had to squelch a few butterflies and last minute jitters.
    “Dad was really nervous the whole day and kept practicing with me,” he explained. “On our way up to the altar, I had to calm him down a little. But when we stood side by side, it was the happiest time of my life. I know that he did this for himself, but also for me and my mom, and it means a lot to me.”
    Mike admitted he looked most forward to receiving Eucharist, as it was always a mystery to him.
    “I would see these people receive Communion every week and they would go back to their pews in deep prayer and I never understood it,” he said. “Now I do, and I am excited that I can join my family in the Eucharist every week.”mikeandpat1Patrick Schultz and his father, Michael Schultz, return to their seats after receiving their first Communion from St. Agnes pastor, Fr. Timothy Bickel, during the Easter Vigil Mass, Saturday, April 7, at the parish. (Submitted photo courtesy the Schultz family)
    Communion is now family event
    For Patrick, having both parents walk up with him in the Communion line each week is a dream come true.
    “I am so excited and I can’t wait for Mass this weekend,” he said. “Finally, after all of these years, we can participate in the Mass as a family and receive Communion together as a family.”
    Wolf has directed RCIA for seven years at St. Agnes Parish and said working with the catechumen is rewarding and a privilege.
    “It is always special watching anyone who comes toward faith with an openness and willingness, and taking the initiative to do so,” he said. “It’s very touching and I enjoy working with them as they ask questions and really search things out, trying to understand our faith and tradition.”
    Future son-in-law embraces faith
    To make learning easier, Wolf breaks down the church’s history and longstanding traditions to make them more understandable.
    “With Clay and Mike, it was very neat as they had family members to guide them along,” said Wolf. “But for me it is especially unique, as Clay is my future son-in-law. He is engaged to my daughter Meg and they will be married next spring. He has a daughter, Anna from a previous relationship who had not been baptized; and he and my daughter have a newborn named Leila together. All three were baptized at the Easter Vigil, and to see him approaching commitment to my daughter and looking forward to their marriage in faith, makes everything more special.”
    At 27, Clay works at Kohl’s Corporate and came to the decision to become fully initiated into the Catholic Church on his own. According to Wolf, Clay has been part of the family for 18 months, and wants to do the right thing for his family.
    “It is very powerful and so neat to see him grow,” said Wolf.
    Raised in a Christian nondenominational church, Clay was never baptized. He didn’t feel a sense of belonging until he began attending St. Agnes with Megan.
    “I wanted to continue to grow spiritually within the church,” he said. “And now that I have come home, I feel as if I have a deeper relationship with Christ.”
    ‘Holy Spirit is at work’ in family
    While Clay admitted that he didn’t begin RCIA for self-realization, he knew in his heart that receiving the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation was something he wanted and needed to do for himself and his family.
    “I feel more in line with the principles and teachings of the Bible,” he said. “And I felt so joyous to be able to share in the sacrament of baptism with my daughters.”
    With all three dressed in white robes, Clay and Anna received the sacrament of baptism through full immersion, explained Wolf.
    “It was so neat, as Anna went first and then Clay. Then he held the Leila in the pool while our pastor poured water over her head,” he said. “It was so touching.”
    Through Clay’s reception into the Catholic Church, Wolf believes that the Holy Spirit is working with him to attract new members into the church.
    “We had our family over for Easter Sunday and Clay and Megan came over with the girls. We had lunch before the other folks came and Clay told us that his mom had come to the vigil. She wasn’t a churchgoer, but she was baptized, just not raised in the faith. Because of her positive experience at the Easter Vigil, she wants to come to church now. I think it is really neat to see how the Holy Spirit is at work.”