When police officer Nathan Kohutek heads out on the beat each day, he now carries an extra layer of protection: the grace of God.
The Liverpool general duties officer was one of two people welcomed into the full communion of the Catholic Church at St Gertrude’s at Smithfield at Easter, and one of 200 new Catholics across the Sydney Archdiocese.
Each with their own private and personal faith journey, the new Catholics celebrated becoming part of one faith community.
Mr Kohutek said entering the church and embracing the faith had helped fill something that was missing in his life and made him not only a better husband and father but also law enforcer.
The father-of-one said that while he was introduced to the faith by wife Lucy, it was him who made the decision to enter it.
“I was born into the Church of England, but I must admit religion was never part of my life at all until I met Lucy,” he said.
“Through her witness and devout faith, I became both interested and intrigued by Catholicism and wanted to know more. It didn’t take long before I enrolled into the RCIA program and even if I had worked the nightshift and was tired, I really looked forward to going.
“It felt very natural and was an easy transition for me and I think my faith has not only made me a better partner and dad but also police officer.
“I am more aware of not judging people and now treating those I come across with compassion and see myself doing God’s work through my police work.”
Nathan and his family gathered at a special Paschal Eucharist Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral last weekend where around 150 new Catholics stepped out of their parishes and gathered as one.
Celebrated by Bishop Richard Umbers, he presented them with blessed gifts including a prayer card, miraculous medal, rosary as well as the archdiocese’s new baptism booklet.
“It’s a wonderful celebration in the church’s year and a time of great joy as we welcome new members of the church both those being baptised and being received,” he said.
“This is a great witness to us all of what our faith can mean to us and hopefully encourage every Catholic to look at the value, beauty and truth of their faith.”
Sacramental Life and RCIA Coordinator Simon Yeak said the numbers of new Catholics entering the church were almost back to pre-COVID numbers and a great sign for the church and its future.
“Former atheists, those of other Christian denominations and religions made up the large group of around 200 new Catholics welcomed into the church at Easter,” he said.
“It’s lovely that the many intentional disciples who were looking to serve in their parishes via RCIA and welcome those who wish to know more about the faith, as they were welcomed themselves a year ago.”