Elect: 'Day by day I get closer to God'

Friday, Mar. 17, 2023
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY —Lucy Rico was baptized in the Catholic Church when she was little, but as she got older she put faith aside even though her husband used to invite her to attend Mass and the retreats and other events at their parish [Our Lady of Lourdes in Magna]. However, Rico always felt that she had something better to do.

That changed when she went to the parish for the Presentation of the Lord, a day when Hispanic people take images of the baby Jesus to the church to be blessed. During that celebration she felt as though something or someone was talking to her heart.

“I think God just wanted us to get closer to him,” she said, explaining how she began the path that has led her toward becoming a full member of the Church; she is one of the Candidates who will receive the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation at this year’s Easter Vigil.

Following the prompting in her heart, she learned about the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program, “and I started thinking how much I wanted to change my personal life and my marriage life. … I saw that there were many problems,” she said, adding that she used to go to professional help, but still felt something was missing.

“I was very closed. I just shared very few things and kept on listening to others,” she said. Then she and her husband started going out with other couples in the parish, and once again she heard about RCIA, which made something turn in her heart. “I wanted to do the things the right way, so I had to start from the beginning,” she said.

She asked about RCIA and was told to talk to Jorge, but didn’t know who that was until Deacon Carlos Cortez pointed him out. To her surprise, Jorge was part of the group of couples that she and her husband had been mingling with for a long time.

“As the time has passed and my road in RICA progressed, I realized that I was being selfish,” she said, noting that she would ask the Lord for help or for what she needed, but was never thankful.

“Now I realize that I do not have to ask; God is with me all the time,” Rico said.

Her new road has filled her with love and peace, “with lots of joy and gratitude,” she said. “Despite the problems, I feel strong. I know God is here and he never leaves me.”

Since Rico started attending the RICA program she has seen many changes in her marriage, in her family and in herself, she said.

“I still struggle to accept that this is not a snap-and-go thing. … It takes time and commitment, but now I proudly say I am Catholic and I know that God never leaves me and he is always there for me,” she said.

As the Easter Vigil approaches, Rico ponders her past and how she never thought that   she would take this step in her faith, but now she feels her heart is exploding with joy. She enjoys attending Mass and also has found joy and peace in the rosary, she said.

“Day by day I get closer to God,” she said. “I learn more and I am thirsty for him. … So many years that I didn’t do it and now here I am. … The time was just right.”

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