Diocesan News

Emerging From the Waters of Baptism: Three Attempts and a Lifetime of Preparation

Salah Amen Amer

By Salah Amen Amer

The following is the witness Amer gave at the Mass of the Neophytes

All my life I prayed for the day I would be baptized.

In my heart and mind, it was never a question of if I believed or if I wanted to follow Jesus. It was a question of how much do I have in me to make it over every obstacle my life had presented me.

Growing up in a home with an Islamic father and a Roman Catholic mother, the topic of Jesus Christ was a touchy one with a hostile father, who boiled up at the very mention of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

I knew making it as a dedicated Catholic would not be an easy journey, but I did not care.

Growing older, I came to learn that my father wouldn’t be the only hurdle I would have to overcome if I wanted to follow Christ. The temptations of life would eventually cause me two failed attempts at baptism.

Watching my brother and sisters receive baptism, I knew in my heart I could not give up. My family believed in me. And, more importantly, I knew Jesus was still waiting. He had not given up on me.

On my third attempt to receive the sacraments I was introduced to St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica, and Sister Alice Michael, S.U.S.C.

Though the timing not ideal, to say the least, Sister Alice saw the hunger and drive I had to accept the Holy Spirit in my life. She took me under her guidance and helped me on my third attempt at baptism and saw me through.

Saturday night, at Easter Vigil 2019, I finally made that step that the devil made so difficult to attaint.

I was baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amer and his wife plan to baptize all four of their children this summer. They have three daughters and a not-yet-born son.