‘I will just stay focused on Jesus’: new Catholics welcomed at Easter Vigil 

By Antony Lawes, 31 March 2024

As Billy Osborne sat outside St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta on the eve of being welcomed into the Catholic Church he was overwhelmed with emotion. 

His journey to this point had been a long one, he said, but now that he was so close to receiving the three Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist – in front of such a large congregation at the Easter Vigil, everything was welling up to the surface. 

Catechumens Vy Tran, Billy Osborne and Glen Cameron are presented to Bishop Vincent during the Easter Vigil

“I’m feeling every emotion possible,” the 29-year-old catechumen from Granville said. “Scared, worried, happy, joyful, nervous, excited, it’s just all muddled into one.” 

Then, afterwards, he would feel at peace and ready to start his new life. 

“I will just stay focused on Jesus and what he wants from me on this earth now,” he said. 

And the first thing he would do on Easter Sunday is go back to church and “take the Eucharist again”. 

Billy was one of three catechumens being presented during Mass on Saturday evening, which was celebrated by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta.  

The other two were Glen Cameron, 32, from Melrose Park, and Vy Tran, 33, from Parramatta. 

Glen said the moment he realised he wanted to take the step to becoming a Catholic was when he and his fiancé were at marriage preparation classes. 

“One thing they asked me is, ‘do you want to raise your children Catholic?’ And I said, ‘100 percent’,” he said.  

“And then I realised, how can I raise a child Catholic if I myself am not Catholic? 

“So it kind of motivated me to take the next step forward, because I always looked into it in the past.” 

At first, he said the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program was a bit daunting, “but the more and more I learned, the more and more in touch with God I felt and you know, I’m ecstatic to be here today”. 

Vy had a similar realisation. She said the further she progressed in the RCIA program the calmer and more relaxed she became. 

“Now when I deal with something hard, I feel better,” she said. 

And although she too was feeling very nervous before the Mass, “the big thing is you get born again”. 

In his homily, Bishop Vincent welcomed the three new members of the Catholic family, as well as all those at other parishes around the Diocese, and said what united all Catholics was the power of the resurrection. 

Bishop Vincent with the Easter candle

“The essence of Christian hope is contained in the abundant life that Jesus brought about through his death and resurrection,” Bishop Vincent said.  

“The whole point of the risen Christ is our human capacity to become a new type of person who can do new things for a new heaven and a new earth.” 

“Easter brings us the meaning, strength, the power to transform the world in which we live.” 

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