Over 150,000 Americans to become Catholic this Easter

.- One year before, she would have kept walking. But last fall, when 22-year old Dixie Ross saw the table advertising Catholic Bible studies in the University of Colorado Student Union, something made her stop.

Raised Baptist in Louisiana, Ross will join over 2,000 others in the Archdiocese of Denver who will be received into the Catholic Church at this year's Easter Vigil Mass.

In high school, Ross told CNA, she had bad experiences which made her write off religion altogether. Then she met "a wonderful married couple in Louisiana who adopted my son." 

After giving it up for adoption, she said that the couple told her that they planned to raise her baby a Catholic. "I realized", she said, that "we agreed on a lot of things, and I began thinking about becoming Catholic myself."

Once seeing the Catholic Mass as stuffy and ritualistic, Ross says that she has "tried to learn where each tradition came from, and why it is such an important part of Catholic life."

She now attends weekly Catholic Bible studies, Mass with her friends, and eagerly awaits her reception into the Church Saturday night.

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ross is not alone. Over 150,000 Americans will join the Church this weekend, including young people, older people and families.

Among them, is David Reid, who won a gold medal in boxing at the 1996 Olympics. After growing up Baptist and later becoming Muslim, he will enter the Church at St. Michael's Parish in Marquette, Michigan. 

The USCCB reported that numbers of people being received into the Church has jumped from last year, and include a broad spectrum of reasons.

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Chairmen of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Evangelization, said that, "The Rite of Election is always a moving experience as new life comes into the Church."

"It is a sign", he added, "of the work of the Holy Spirit and of the witness of faith that Catholic men and women give every day. Virtually all who come into the Church note that they were drawn to the Catholic Church by a friend, relative or acquaintance who quietly lives out the Christian life. The Church is stronger because of its faithful members."

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