Faith journey for 7 in the same family

Cue the goosebumps! This story is featured as part of our ongoing series to showcase the important work our Catholic schools are doing to bring students and families closer to Christ.

Nico Rodriguez is a first grader at St. Bernadette Catholic School in Bellevue. He just recently joined the Church – and so did his whole family.

This family’s story started when Nico’s mom, Stacey, met with SBS school principal, Mrs. Lynn Schultz, two years ago looking for a good preschool opportunity for her son. She described her son Nico as a miracle baby. After doctors telling her she couldn’t have any more children, one month after not feeling well, she found she was actually already pregnant when they told her that! Nico has been special from the start. During the tour of the preschool, Stacey decided that St. Bernadette was a good fit even though no one in their family was Catholic, and despite it being a long drive to get him there in the mornings. She decided to make those choices, but “only for preschool” – and made that clear to Mrs. Schultz. But then, Nico kept coming home and talking about school and the religious teachings he’d learned during the days and how that made him feel.  Nico was so happy that his mom said she started to think, “wow, he’s a different kid now, this is a different kind of school.”

Again, faith was not a priority in their family at the time, but they took the step of enrolling Nico in kindergarten there because he was thriving. Soon after, he started to ask to be baptized at school, so the family started to talk about and consider that as a possibility. During this same time his sister was an eighth grader, also at St. Bernadette. His sister Abby was already baptized Presbyterian, but as soon as Nico began asking about baptism, she started talking about being confirmed with her class.  Stacey and her husband Johnnie were curious about Catholicism and what their children were learning and what these steps would mean, so they joined RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) to learn more about the catechism. As they were going through the program, Nico’s dad Johnnie decided to join the Church himself!

As part of the process, one of the children wanted their uncle to be the godfather, but he was not Catholic. Stacey talked her brother into at least coming to RCIA classes to check things out. He warned the family not to get their hopes up, he had no intention of becoming Catholic.

Around this same time, a traumatic family situation occurred, and RCIA is what got them through. Last Easter Vigil in 2018, Stacey, Johnnie, uncle Nick, Nico, and Abby all came into the Church together!! ALL because of Nico’s pre-kindergarten experience and the school helping the family encounter Christ.

And the story doesn’t end there.

At this year’s recent Easter Vigil, one year later, Nico’s grandparents also came into the Church! Catholicism, faith, prayer – these are all a part of this family’s daily lives. All part of God’s incredible plan.

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