WEST HEAVEN – Gonzalo and Guadalupe met in California more than 16 years ago. Within two months, they decided to live together and moved to Utah.
As time passed, they had four children: Jennifer, Gonzalo Jr., Lucia and Elizabeth. Although everything seemed OK in their lives, they felt a big component was missing.
Guadalupe Nomeli Navarro had been a catechist in Jalisco, Mexico her native town, but once she arrived in the United States she put her religion aside.
"I have 12 brothers and sisters and out of all of them, three of us remain Catholic. Two of my brothers convinced my parents to join another church," said Guadalupe.
As Gonzalo’s and Guadalupe’s children grew older they started asking if they could be baptized.
"I used to always read the Bible to them, I taught them to do the sign of the cross and we used to go to Mass," said Guadalupe. Then suddenly they started asking us why they were not baptized and why their dad [Gonzalo] and I were not married."
Guadalupe and her husband realized they had put religion aside and that it was a very important part of their lives. So they decided they wanted to do things right, but they didn’t know where to start.
"We found RICA and Nubia Gutierrez helped us a lot," said Guadalupe.
Nubia Gutierrez is in charge of the RICA for Hispanics at Saint Mary Parish in West Haven and since November she has been working with the entire Navarro family.
"This family is a great example of how God works in us," said Gutierrez.
Gonzalo and Guadalupe were married in the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil, and Gonzalo received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation as well.
Three of their children also received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Elizabeth, who is 5, received the Sacrament of Baptism because she is younger and will receive her other sacraments when she is of age.
Father Gustavo Vidal, pastor of St. Mary Parish, was also a crucial support in the Navarro family receiving their Sacraments.
"When Fr. Vidal was assigned to Saint George Parish, we stopped going to church," said Guadalupe. "But ever since the moment he came to here, [to St. Mary] he has been a great support. He is a very good priest and we love him very much."
Now that all the family has received their sacraments they feel relief that they can finally call themselves Catholics and the kids won’t be asking why they haven’t been baptized or why their parents aren’t married.
"We have received a lot of congratulations and God has also given us a lot of blessings," said Guadalupe. "We have to teach our kids who God is, that He is always there for us and that He loves us."