Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer
April 25, 2023 // Diocese

Queen of Angels Parish Sets Record with 17 Baptisms at Easter Vigil

Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s miraculous apparitions throughout history have often been to young children, teaching about the depths of God’s love and imploring them to pray for the salvation of others. Such experiences reveal the Lord’s confidence in children as individuals capable of receiving divine truths and communicating them to others.

Shay Kahn
Brayden Kahn is baptized by Father Spenser St. Louis at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 8, at Queen of Angels Parish. Kahn is a 2nd-grader at the school.

This year at Queen of Angels, one of Fort Wayne’s parishes under the patronage of Mary, it was precisely the response of youth which drew attention at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 8. On this night, 14 new Catholics were baptized and confirmed, 10 of whom were grade school-age students. The four adults who also entered the Church are parents of Queen of Angels School students, having been drawn into the faith by the invitations and accompaniment of their children.

Since arriving at the school in 2019, Principal Dennis Wiegmann has aimed to make Catholic identity a key aspect of the curriculum. Daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration are offered multiple times a week for the students, while a culture of evangelical zeal is present in many of the classrooms.

Wiegmann shared, “We have a strong Catholic community here while also welcoming in a number of students who may be encountering Catholicism for the first time in their life. Others, for one reason or another, did not receive the sacraments at the customary times. In light of this, we made a particularly concerted effort to invite parents and students who still needed sacraments of initiation to consider receiving them this year. It led to a large response and presented a beautiful witness of faith to our entire school.”

Brittany Moore
Dahriella Grenader, a 3rd-grader at Queen of Angels, stands with Carolyn Pacora, one of her godparents and the school’s Spanish teacher. Grenader also came into the Church this night with her mother, Brittany, also a staff member at the school. Dahriella’s younger sister was baptized earlier this year at an all-school Mass.

The Church’s Rite of Confirmation, as well as the Sacramental Norms for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend state that “adult catechumens and children who are to be baptized at an age when they are old enough for catechesis should ordinarily be admitted to confirmation at the same time that they receive baptism.” For this reason, the young people considered at the age of reason (at least seven years old) who expressed a desire for baptism also received confirmation and First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil, just as the adults did.

While many parishes in the diocese also saw an uptick in the number of people entering the Church, this was a particularly strong year for Queen of Angels. In addition to these 14 catechumens, another three young children — siblings of children in the OCIA class — were also baptized at the Easter Vigil. Altogether, the parish saw 17 baptisms on this night, the most this parish has had at one time in its 75-year history. The most comparable year was in 2000, when 15 people were received into the Church at the Easter Vigil, but a few of those individuals had been previously baptized in another Christian denomination.

Andrew Kahn stands with his sons Brayden and Parker, who were all baptized at Queen of Angels on the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 8. Andrew and Brayden, a 2nd-grader at the school, also received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. Standing with them after Mass is Andrew’s wife Shay, a parishioner at Queen of Angels.

Father Spenser St. Louis, Pastor of Queen of Angels, shared, “It has been a true gift from the Lord that so many have sought to enter into the Catholic faith this year. Witnessing these parents and their children take on a new identity in Christ and become sealed with the Holy Spirit together was profoundly beautiful. I am grateful to have accompanied them on their journey of faith, which now will continue in a new way. Additionally, I am deeply grateful to all those who have helped evangelize these students and parents, both currently and throughout the past few years. As we know, this did not all happen overnight, and many of these seeds of faith were planted years ago. We are privileged to now participate in the fruitful benefits of this labor.”

One of these seeds of faith was planted in the heart of 3rd-grader Mason McDougall. McDougall began to desire Catholicism when his class was taught about First Holy Communion last year. This interest became so fervent in him that it led to his mother, father, and three siblings to also join him in the OCIA journey culminating at Easter. His mother Kamille shared, “This experience really changed my life and our family. The guidance we received throughout this experience was life changing and I can’t thank my son Mason enough for opening these doors for us.”

Andrew Kahn also entered the Church this year with his son Brayden, a 2nd-grader at Queen of Angels, and one-year-old, Parker. Kahn shared, “I’m so blessed to be able to have gone through this experience. I feel extremely grateful for my family, and I continue to grow our relationship with God and the Catholic Church!”

More information about Queen of Angels School can be viewed at

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.