Stacie Aman was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she was eight years old, and though she only occasionally attended services at her family’s Mormon church, she said she has always appreciated how her grandparents’ Mormon faith strengthened them.

“I have always respected their sense of community,” said Aman, recalling how when her father died, members of her family’s church brought them meals and supported them. “…For me, church is really about a community of people and how they lift you up.”

After she had children of her own, she knew she wanted them to experience that type of church community, and started looking around to different churches to try to find it. She was intentional about finding the right place, because she said she “didn’t just want to check a box,” but instead she “wanted it to matter.”

Eventually, she talked to one of her neighbors who loved attending Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., and later decided to attend Mass there to see for herself. When she did, “it just felt right,” she said.

After she attended Mass at Holy Trinity, she started bringing her family with her, and they are now each also planning to enter the Church in their own ways over the next year. The Catholic Church does not recognize the baptism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints due to their differing beliefs about the Trinity, in whose name the sacrament of Baptism is conferred, so Aman will be baptized, receive First Communion, and be confirmed at the Easter Vigil this year.

Over the next year, her husband, who was raised in the Episcopal Church, will be confirmed; her son, who is 4, will be baptized and will begin kindergarten at Holy Trinity School in the fall; and her daughter, who is 8, will go through an adjusted RCIA process before being baptized and receiving First Communion next Easter.

“Everyone who I’ve ever encountered in the community here has been really generous and has made me and my family feel welcome,” Aman said. “…As a parent, it is really your duty to introduce faith and religion to your children…the community [at Holy Trinity] and being welcomed is a big deal. I am excited for my children to have that too.”

Stacie Aman, at right, with her husband, Cabby Aman, and their children, Pierce and Annabelle. All four are planning to enter the Church over the course of the next year. (Aman family photo)

Aman said she likes the global community and the history of the Church, but originally thought that because of that long history, the Church might be “rigid on its teaching.” But to her pleasant surprise, she has found, “at Holy Trinity, it is okay to ask questions.”

“What I really do appreciate about the Church is that they really take the time to invest in people’s education about the Church,” she said, also noting that she has learned that “people baptized as cradle Catholics are still searching and learning.”

Now, the tradition of the Church is part of what Aman said she is looking forward to introducing her children to.

“I really like the tradition they are sticking to. In a changing world, I think that is really important,” she said. “I think it is important for my children to have a solid foundation.”

Aman has been the trailblazer in her family for the RCIA process, which she said has “been such a gift.” She is a healthcare lobbyist for Capitol Counsel, and as a working mom of two children, she said the weekly RCIA classes have provided rare “time by myself for myself.”

“It has been a real growth period for me,” she said, noting that the RCIA group has become very close in the process. Aman also said she has appreciated that the RCIA leaders have addressed the abuse crisis head-on.

“I really value authenticity a lot – I really value that this church has been very open about what’s going on,” she said. “No one is trying to sugar-coat it.”

Aman will be officially welcomed as a member of the Church during the Easter Vigil at Holy Trinity, but even beyond the walls of her new parish, Aman has begun to discover that the community of faith is all around her.

“That sense of community is not just at Mass,” she said. “…On Ash Wednesday, you look around the city and see ashes on people’s foreheads and realize you are all a part of a community together.”