Friday, February 24, 2012

A Reception and First Steps

The steps in Frank's conversion process are falling into place with a grace that bespeaks divine workmanship.

Frank wants to enter the church at our favorite parish, St. John the Beloved in McLean, and under the direction of its unutterably wonderful pastor, Father Paul. He hadn't contacted Father Paul yet and I was starting to get a little worried. Easter is coming up soon. How long would it take for him to enter the church?

But last night at a formal reception, Frank and I ran into my friend Cindy. A convert herself, Cindy has brought someone into the church every Easter for the past 3 years. She is close friends with Father Paul and he has been teasing her lately - "You're slacking, Cindy. Where's your convert this year?"

As it turns out, Cindy planned and organized the Conservatism on Tap event where Frank and I first met. We wouldn't have met and started dating without her. And so, we told her last night, she deserves at least some credit for his conversion.

At that, Cindy was so excited that she pulled out her phone to text Father Paul. He texted back, "Habemus convertum!" - mangled Latin for "We have a convert!", a funny play on the declaration "Habemus papam!" which Catholics say after a new pope has been elected.

Frank and me back in July, shortly after we first met, and long before we started dating!
I left Cindy and Frank to talk for a while as I mingled with the other guests. They made plans for the next steps in Frank's conversion process. Cindy will also be at St. John's 10:30 am Mass on Sunday, so she promised to officially introduce Frank to Father Paul on Sunday and get their first meetings set up. I am so excited!

A few minutes ago, I was talking to Frank on gchat when he said he had to go. "I'm going to Mass." You see, dear readers, Frank has recently started going to daily Mass. On his own. No, I know. Every time he casually mentions to me that he went to Mass that day, I pretty much want to die from being so happy and so proud of him.

Last night at the reception, we had the privilege of talking to the authors of Embryo, the inimitable Robbie George and Chris Tollefsen. My sister and I took a summer class at Princeton with Tollefsen over two years ago. Happily, he remembered us! He asked very kindly after her, and we reminisced about how much fun those two weeks were. Frank, meanwhile, chatted with Professor George about his conversion. When Frank mentioned that the process began years ago when he started reading the Church Fathers, Professor George laughed. "Oh yes," he said, "reading the Church Fathers is fatal for Protestants!"

There was a lecture and happy hour at the CIC after that, where I saw too many friends to name, or even to talk to all of them. I just flitted about, smiling, and overjoyed to be in the presence of so many good people. Most of all, overjoyed to have Frank there with me, meeting my friends and enjoying each other's company.

After we left, I paused outside the CIC to throw my hands dramatically in the air. "I love everybody!" I declared, with typical Tess over-dramatization. Frank laughed at me, not unkindly, and then we took each other's hands and walked to the nearest metro stop together. And readers, as silly as it sounds, today, at least, I really do.

1 comment:

  1. Frank (yes, that one)February 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    My "laughing at you" was an affectionate chuckle at how adorable you are ;)