Advertisement sparks couple’s return to Catholic faith

From left, Bishop Martin Amos and Tanya, Nolan, Corina and Ryan Moore pose after the Rite of Election at St. Mary of the Visitation Church in Ottumwa March 8.

By Celine Klosterman

CENTERVILLE — An ad was all it took.

Ryan and Tanya Moore had long talked of returning to the faith in which they were baptized — though not raised — for their two children’s sake. But not much came of that talk until late last year, when Tanya spied an ad in Centerville’s Daily Iowegian about an upcoming informational session on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

A phone call later, she and Ryan had a meeting with JoAnn McLin, RCIA coordinator at St. Mary Parish in Centerville. “We finally just reached a point in our lives when we were comfortable doing it,” Tanya said.

Now, the two are just days from being fully initiated into the Catholic Church. They; Tanya’s sister, Taija; Taija’s infant daughter, Addison; and the Moores’ children, 12-year-old Corina and 6-year-old Nolan, will all receive sacraments of initiation at St. Mary’s Easter Vigil Mass.

The Moores said they look forward to raising their daughter and son in Catholicism, the faith in which Ryan and Tanya hadn’t been active since elementary school.

Tanya stopped going to church and religious education classes when she was 7. The child later attended Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches and Bible camps with friends, but never committed to a single church.

Ryan, meanwhile, made his first Communion, but stopped attending church in fifth grade. His faith formation ended then — until a few months ago.

“I’m relearning everything,” he said. “I’m liking this class.” He appreciates understanding why Catholics do certain things — rather than knowing just what they do.

Tanya said she didn’t retain much Catholic instruction from her childhood, but thinks she’s learned more through RCIA classes than she would have growing up. And she appreciates her RCIA coordinator for helping her progress. “JoAnn is so excited about her faith; it made it easy for us to be excited,” Tanya said.

It’s a good time to return to the faith, too, Ryan said. He lost his job working in streets for the city of Centerville in October, and has been turning to God for encouragement. “I pray everything turns out OK, that God has better plans. He’s got a reason.”

Ryan and Tanya, who’s supporting her family with her job in inventory maintenance, also said they appreciate the personal support they’ve found from Catholics.

“The Catholic Church has made me feel so welcome,” said Tanya. Though she and Ryan had their first child out of wedlock, she said people have been understanding. “They don’t think it’s an issue for me to reconcile with them; it’s for me to reconcile with God. That was important for me in choosing to follow Catholicism.”

Corina is soaking up information she’s learning in preparation for her baptism and first Communion, Tanya said. Nolan is a bit shier about being in front of people for his baptism, she said.

But his mother is looking forward to meeting more St. Mary parishioners, who she hopes will help her get involved in parish ministries such as Operation Santa and other outreach efforts. 

JoAnn is optimistic about the Moores’ future, too. “It has been an honor to walk this portion of their faith journey with them,” she said. “This family has much to offer the Catholic community, and I look forward to watching them continue their journey with our St. Mary’s family.” 

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