May 21, 2021

‘I have that relationship with Christ I always wanted’

Brian Hall smiles with his sponsor and fiancée Cari Weibel in St. Lawrence Church in Indianapolis after being received into the full communion of the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass on April 3. (Submitted photo by Sandra Hartlieb)

Brian Hall smiles with his sponsor and fiancée Cari Weibel in St. Lawrence Church in Indianapolis after being received into the full communion of the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass on April 3. (Submitted photo by Sandra Hartlieb)

By Natalie Hoefer

As a youth, Brian Hall was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. So was his good friend, whose family were members of St. Lawrence Parish in Indianapolis.

On April 3, Hall was received into the full communion of the Church at St. Lawrence Church.

“I’ve come full circle,” said Hall, who will marry his RCIA sponsor, St. Lawrence coordinator of youth ministry Cari Weibel, there in July.

Hall, 38, is a social worker. He was baptized when he was young, grew up going first to a Methodist church and then attended a non-denominational Christian church.

“I was always searching for a church after college,” he said.

But not just any church.

“I wanted to find one that had a family environment where I would be able to get to know everyone and have that family bond,” said Hall. “I feel like when you’re having a relationship with Christ, then you really need to have a bond with the people around you.”

He was also looking for someone to share his life and a faith. He tried Match.com without much luck. He was about to cancel his membership in October of 2019 when he decided to give it one more week.

“That’s when I met Cari,” he said of his fiancée, who was born and raised Catholic.

“I saw in her profile that religion was really important. The first question I asked her was, ‘Do you really necessarily have to be with a Catholic?’ I wanted someone who would go to church every week and had a strong relationship with Christ. That would make for a strong partnership.”

The fact that the two lived just five minutes apart helped. They started dating “We talked about religion all the time,” said Hall. “A month or two later I started going to Mass with her. …

“I fell in love with Catholicism when I found out about its rich traditions [and] that you’re building a relationship with Christ by going to Mass.”

Hall was also fascinated to learn that Catholics believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

“I’ve always had the mindset that if you take Communion, you’re taking in the body of Christ—it’s not a symbol,” he said. “I have to believe you’re literally ingesting Christ into your soul and body to be one of his disciples.”

For Hall, he found “the whole process” of the sacraments “lifechanging.”

“I went to confession,” he recalled. “After that, I felt like I was cleansed. And then being able to take in Christ and really be one of his disciples was really exciting.

“I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. I feel like I can actually say with my whole heart the entire process has changed me, and receiving Communion was the pinnacle.”

Hall chose St. Louise de Marillac, patroness of social workers, as his confirmation saint.

Armed with the Catholic faith, “I feel like I can really have an impact on people now,” said Hall. “I have that relationship with Christ that I’ve always wanted.” †
 

Related: See a list of all new Catholics in the archdiocese for 2020 and 2021

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