If there were any parishioners from Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro, who didn’t realize that Monroe Council was not Catholic prior to the Easter Vigil, they were surely in for a surprise as he stepped up to the baptismal font.
That surprise might have had something to do with the fact that Council has been with the parish for more than 52 years, faithfully accompanying his wife to Mass.
The 83-year-old Council was born and raised in North Carolina, and throughout his childhood and then 20-year career with the U.S. Army, he had practiced faith by attending Baptist churches. He attributes his faith to his wife who introduced him to the Catholic faith after they were married in 1953. They began attending Corpus Christi when they moved to Willingboro in 1964.
Though Council’s wife died several years ago, he continued to attend Mass in Corpus Christi and finally decided that he wanted to become Catholic.
“It was time,” he said and joined the R.C.I.A.
Reflecting on the days leading up to the Easter Vigil in particular, Council said, “The entire Holy Week 2017 had been a week to remember,” especially in participating in the various Masses and liturgies – Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and then of course the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night.
“I will say that the Easter Vigil was beautiful and I was thrilled to be part of it,” said Council, extending appreciation to his godfather, longtime parishioner, Charles Stockton, for his support and sponsorship.
Council chose John Paul as his Confirmation name. “Pope John Paul II is the most loving example of the leaders in the Catholic Church,” he said.