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Eleven Mount Students Join the Church This Spring

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19

RCIA students outside IC Chapel

On April 16, the Feast of Divine Mercy for Roman Catholics, 11 Mount students were welcomed into the Catholic Church.

confirmation-2023-in-text.jpgMadison Karcesky and Sarah Turay were both baptized, while Alexandra Eastman, Blake Hatcher, Brayden Jolly, Olivia Smeltzer, Morgan Clark, Angel Ellis, Juliana Maira, Alexander Nwokoroku, and Antonio Wesley were all confirmed as members of the Church.

Each year, students who are interested in baptism or confirmation have the opportunity to receive these sacraments in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

Those who are confirmed go through the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) with the campus chaplain and Center for Campus Ministry, a months-long process of weekly classes that help prospective members learn more about Church teaching and prayer life.

confirmation-2023-in-text-3.jpgThis year, RCIA was led by the Rev. Martin Moran, university chaplain, and Brendan Johnson, acting director of the Center for Campus Ministry, with help from Mount seminarian Franz Belleza of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

“How wonderful to welcome and congratulate the 11 Mount students who became fully initiated at the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass. As a campus community we welcome them to the Holy Catholic Church and will continue to pray for them as they move forward with us and the whole Universal Church in our journey with Christ!” exclaimed Moran.

He and Johnson both shared that while a typical RCIA group in an American parish has around five members, the Mount’s program has always tended to draw a larger number.

confirmation-2023-in-text-4.jpg“We typically have anywhere from 10-15 students who go through the RCIA program each year. It’s largely because of the good witness of so many from across campus,” said Johnson.

He particularly mentioned the influence of the seminarians who act as chaplains for the athletic teams, and Catholic students who befriend non-Catholics and share their beliefs with them.

“The group was beautiful for the differences in their backgrounds and variety of experiences they brought, and because many had been baptized as children but not been to church since then,” observed Johnson.

One such student was Juliana Maira, C’24, a human services major and native of Westminster, Maryland. Reflecting conirmation-2023-1-in-text.jpegon her experience with the Mount’s RCIA program, she recalled that she “really enjoyed RCIA, and recommend that anyone who wants to learn more about the Catholic faith do it. [Johnson] was very patient while answering our questions and [Belleza] was a great mentor. [Moran] was very kind and supportive about our transition.”

She also shared that, while she was baptized as a baby, she was not raised as a practicing Catholic. However, her family’s support of her decision to be confirmed brought her joy and even led her family members closer to their faith.

“The Church is very beautiful. I am thankful for all of those who took the time to make confirmation and baptism so special,” said Maira.

To learn more about the Mount’s RCIA program, and being baptized or confirmed as a Catholic at the Mount, please visit Campus Ministry’s webpage at

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19