For Jon Matalon, chief financial officer of Professional Business Bank in Pasadena, his baptism and reception of the sacraments of Holy Communion and confirmation at St. Finbar Church in Burbank at the Easter Vigil is a milestone in a journey of faith that started long ago.
The son of a Jewish father and an Episcopalian mother, Matalon
, 51, grew up with his
two siblings sharing a belief in God."God always had me," said Matalon
dilemma was deciding which religion to practice. His
parents divorced when he
was 12, and two years later his
maternal grandmother and mother arranged for a baptismal ceremony for Matalon
sister and brother.Conflicted about choosing Christianity, Matalon
declined to participate.He
remembers watching the ceremony from the back of the church.
"God was something out on the periphery," he
met and married Deborah, a Catholic single mom with two children.In 1990, they became the parents of twins, Abraham and Rebecca
, and "there was no question that they would be raised Catholic," said Matalon
frequently attended Mass with his
family, and, over the years, noticed how much comfort the parishioners received from their faith.At the encouragement of his
had several discussions with Father Tom Cook, then serving as an associate pastor at St. Finbar
, who eventually asked Matalon
was ready to "go the next step" and enter the inquiry class.
"Something told me to do it," said Matalon
, who said he
has learned a lot about Christ's
mission during his
year-and-a-half Christian Initiation process of formation.Matalon
described RCIA as a "good process" since faith is discussed and shared on an adult level.He
urges prospective converts experiencing reservations to "ignore outside influences and go with heart and mind" into the process."Don't restrict yourself to others' beliefs," he
family has been active participants in the process with Deborah acting as her
husband's baptismal sponsor and the twins quizzing their dad on his
knowledge of the Catholic faith.His
sister (who converted to Catholicism a decade ago), his
mom, uncle and older daughter are coming to attend his
Easter Vigil reception into the Catholic Church.
"I'm a little nervous," admitted Matalon
."Is lightning going to strike?"he
half-jokingly wonders.Reflecting on his
RCIA experience and upcoming initiation into the Catholic Church, he's
grateful that he
made the decision to become a Catholic now, at mid-life, "when you still have time to open your eyes and experience Christ."