Documentary Explores Experience of Conversion

To Be Aired Easter Sunday

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- This Easter, a group of new Catholics will share their experience of conversion on national television.



"Come to the Water: The Adult Journey to Baptism" is a documentary produced by New Group Media that is following a group of individuals in through their process of adult education and initiation into the Catholic community, culminating with their baptism at the Easter Vigil.

The program explores various facets of the process of conversion, beginning with the initial reasons for wanting to enter the Catholic Church.

“Sometimes people come because they’re getting married to a Catholic or they’re married to a Catholic. That’s probably maybe 20 percent of the group,” said Helen Oesterle, director of the RCIA program at the Cathedral of St. James. “We also have people who come because a co-worker or friend is Catholic and they just started going to Mass with them.”

The particular group filmed in the documentary includes former atheists, Buddhists, individuals from Jewish backgrounds and others from Protestant traditions.

During the Easter Vigil at St. James Cathedral, the catechumens are baptized by immersion. The emotion is intense as each one enters the baptistery, according to Seattle Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett.

"I take each of them by the hand and you can feel the different reaction," says Archbishop Brunett. "You can feel people who are actually shaking, you know, and so excited, and some of them so tense because this has got to be a very big moment; they’ve really worked toward this moment."

The hour-long liturgical special is scheduled to air on Easter Sunday, March 27, at the discretion of ABC-TV affiliate stations. A list of stations and scheduled broadcasts will be available on the USCCB Web site beginning in mid-March. Viewers can also contact their local ABC-TV affiliates to ask about plans to air the program.