Grandmother Shares Grandchildren’s Initiation Journey


Editor’s Note: The following is the latest in a series of inspirational stories of conversion to the Catholic faith. This month, Director of RCIA and Religious Education Patricia Troutwein shares a very personal story.

In 2018 Patty and her husband Will were blessed to help in the process of bringing three of their grandchildren – Shane, Abigail, and Dylan Conrad – into the Roman Catholic Church at Saint Patrick in Newry at the Easter Vigil.

“For years they had been asking to join and this was their year!”  They entered RCIA and formed special bonds with another student and his mother, while attending classes, retreats and special services. Grandmother Patty asked them to tell us about their faith journey.

Shane, 12 years old and a seventh grade student at Saint Patrick School said, “Joining the Church was an amazing decision. When I was baptized, my connection with God got stronger and stronger. It brought me closer to my family and my friends, but most importantly closer to God.”  

Abigail, 14, in ninth grade at Hollidaysburg High School writes: “Being baptized and becoming Catholic really changed my life. I felt I knew God but the connection wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be. I wanted to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. I am continuing to grow in my faith and I know the relationship I have with God is deeper and that God is more present in my life since I was baptized.”

Dylan Conrad, an 11th grader at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School and a member of the varsity football team witnesses, ”The reason I joined the Church is because I was looking for a place to say what I believe without the fear of judgment. Sharing God with the people I love deeply is what I was looking for and it happens not only when I am in Church but especially when I am on the field with my talented brothers in faith. God is guiding us through mind and Spirit.” 

By Canon Law, the Conrad children after being baptized, were confirmed, and they received First Holy Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Living up to the commitment they made to Father Allen Zeth (Parish Administrator) to continue in faith formation, Abigail attends Religious Education, and both Dylan and Abigail are attending sessions and retreats for the Confirmation process with their classmates.  Shane is an altar server at the parish and school and will follow his siblings in 9th grade at the parish.

For more information about Christian Initiation, please contact Jeanne Thompson at