June 14, 2019

‘Together in the journey toward Christ’

Standing next to her sponsor and husband Doug, Bridget Hornbach is anointed with chrism oil by her pastor, Father Randall Summers, as part of the Rite of Confirmation during the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Church in Bright on April 20. (Submitted photo by Larry Strange)

Standing next to her sponsor and husband Doug, Bridget Hornbach is anointed with chrism oil by her pastor, Father Randall Summers, as part of the Rite of Confirmation during the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Church in Bright on April 20. (Submitted photo by Larry Strange)

By Natalie Hoefer

When Bridget Hornbach of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Parish in Bright would tell parishioners she was being received into the full communion of the Church this Easter, the response was often surprise.

“Honestly, they thought I was Catholic—even my priest,” she says with a chuckle.

“That’s because she’s always here!” says Kim Sprague, parish director of religious education and youth ministry. “She’s been a member with her family since 2000, when the parish began. She attends Mass regularly with her husband and two daughters [and] she’s a youth volunteer.”

Hornbach was raised in a Protestant faith tradition. But when she married her husband Doug, a Catholic, she fully supported him in raising their children in the faith.

“I have always been a firm believer that you go to church as a family unit,” she says. “I [assisted] in first Communion and confirmation for both of our girls. I volunteered as a chaperone for the school outings to nursing homes, I work the fish fry every year, and the summer picnic.”

Yet Hornbach’s call to be received into the full communion of the Church did not come entirely through her family.

“My friend Jane passed away a little over a year ago,” she shares. “She was Catholic. I used to work with her, and we became close. When her daughter in eighth grade asked me to be her confirmation sponsor, what could I say? ‘No, because I’m not Catholic?’

“But joining the Church had also been a thought on my mind, so this was my opportunity to do so.”

Hornbach was confirmed and received Communion for the first time at her parish’s Easter Vigil Mass on April 20.

“I’m not going to lie—it was emotional,” she admits. “My family was excited that I would be with them receiving the body and blood of Christ. Now we four are together in this journey toward Christ.”

But the loss of her friend Jane and Jane’s daughter’s request for Hornbach to be her confirmation sponsor added much to the emotion of the evening, she says.

For her own confirmation patron, Hornback chose St. Jane.

“It was my friend’s name, and that was healing for me,” she explains.

And just a few weeks after her own confirmation, she stood as a sponsor by Jane’s daughter’s side, witnessing to the faith of the young woman, a faith Hornbach now calls her own. †

 

Related: New Catholics from Bright, Fortville, Greencastle and Indianapolis share their journey to the Catholic faith

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