By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Patience is a well-rewarded virtue. It has been three years since Katie McDonald began the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults to become a full member of the Catholic Church.
Although she has been ready and eager to be a full participant, her entry into the church took longer for a variety of reasons. But she didn’t give up. She continued to attend Mass and to be involved at Sacred Heart Cathedral. On March 26 she was baptized and confirmed by Bishop Martin Amos and received first Communion.
“I think this is a great story of patience and perseverance in coming into the Catholic Church,” Deacon Dan Huber said. “Katie was brought up in a Mormon family and was quite devout. She was drawn into the church through the arts by the depiction of the bishop in ‘Le Miserables’ and also has a strong devotion to Mary.”
McDonald, a native of Davenport, said she was very active growing up Mormon — a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Church was my life,” she said.
McDonald moved to Utah for a year before moving back to the Quad Cities. She married young and she and her husband moved to Kansas. They had three children.
After an abusive marriage, McDonald received a divorce and moved back home with her children to the Quad Cities. “I did odd jobs and started school,” she said. She began studies at Scott Community College and transferred to St. Ambrose University in Davenport where she graduated with a degree in education. Her parents have helped her raise the children because family is a very important component in her life.
After a while McDonald said she did not feel comfortable in the church in which she grew up. “I started second guessing things. I also didn’t feel women were treated the way I felt they should be.”
After not participating in any faith community for a few years, she began looking at other faith traditions. She was dating a Catholic and attended Mass at the cathedral with him. “I was hooked after my first Mass,” she said. “They were so welcoming at the cathedral.”
After she and her boyfriend broke up, McDonald continued to attend Mass at the cathedral. “I wanted to learn more. I fell in love with Mary. Catholics put Mary in perspective. She is in the right place. The church gives love and honor to her and doesn’t hide her.”
McDonald, who is in her first year teaching students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities at Williams Intermediate School in Davenport, is also involved in her parish. She attends Sunday Bible study and prior to teaching full-time was involved in Donuts and Dogma. She said the women in that program really helped her grow in her faith. “If I could have all of them be my godparents and sponsors, I would. I love them so much.
“I’ve been ready to be baptized for four years,” McDonald said during Holy Week. And despite paperwork holdups, “I am that much more excited about entering the church.”
Her family was not very happy when she told them she was going to enter the Catholic Church, she said. “But they have become really supportive of me.” Her parents and children have even attended Mass at the cathedral with her on occasion.
The rest of her family remains in the Mormon church but she said they all pray together as a family before bed.